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GRCA presents watershed awards and community conservation grants

CAMBRIDGE - On Sept. 15 the 2011 Grand River watershed awards were presented to those who have undertaken projects to enhance the natural environment in the watershed. This year five awards were given.

Videos about the award recipients will be available by clicking the YouTube button at

Watershed awards

The winners are:

- Barbara Kidd, known as the “Green Queen” at Arthur Public School until she retired last June. She rallied staff, students, parents and many community partners to undertake a multitude of projects to green up the school and also to establish outdoor spaces for kids to learn and play. In one year, Arthur Public School diverted 700 kilograms of waste from landfill sites through the recycling and composting programs. There are several special outdoor gardens at the school and the students also plant trees in the community.

- Jim Phillips While many local landowners plant trees on their property, not many have planted 60,000 that will eventually grow into a large interior forest. Phillips is following in the footsteps of his father George who planted the first 10,000 trees with the assistance of the GRCA. Hiss company, Copernicus Educational Products, is based on his property in Arthur. The company also gives out thousands of trees each spring to students and has undertaken many green initiatives.

- The Fergus Lions Club Ten years ago this month the Fergus Lions Club got the shovel in the ground to plant the first trees in the Grand River Arboretum in Fergus. The quiet area of remembrance beside the Grand River now has 350 trees with commemorative plaques to remember loved ones. There are also many benches for quiet contemplation.

- Cambridge WATERS  (Water Awareness through Education and Resource Stewardship). The group of volunteers, formed in 1997, tells Cambridge’s water story. The group has displays at special events, has created educational materials and oversees Cambridge’s Yellow Fish program. It is a sub-committee of the Cambridge environmental advisory committee.

- Conestogo River Enhancement Work Group (CREW). A half dozen volunteers joined to help create a brown trout tailwater fishery on the Conestogo River in 2003 and they have been dedicated to that task ever since. Over the years, the CREW has helped the Ministry of Natural Resources stock 300,000 brown trout in the river. They have planted 3,000 trees, organized river clean ups and worked with landlords to create access points along the river.


September 23, 2011


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