CVC honours community leaders with Environmental Awards Program

ERIN – Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) honoured local partners and neighbours at the annual Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards on June 9 at Carl’s Catering The Glen in Brampton. 

Over 60 guests and representatives from CVC’s board of directors celebrated those inspired by nature to undertake important environmental work in the Credit River Watershed.

CVC recognized conservation efforts in seven award categories: Youth Achievement, Outstanding Volunteer, Environmental Awareness, Landowner Stewardship, Corporate Leadership, Green Cities and Watershed Excellence.

Each community leader recognized by the program demonstrates a passion for environmental work and is inspired by nature to take action, officials say. 

Town of Erin residents Mark and Nancy Latam and Margaret Burt were among the recipients, receiving a Landowner Stewardship award for dedicated efforts to restore and steward 60 acres of their land. 

In an email, Mark Latam  stated the couple is following in Nancy’s parents’ footsteps in trying to be good stewards of the land. 

They were the fifth generation on a family farm that their ancestors settled on in 1823. Nancy is now the sixth generation to be raised on the farm.

The actual farm was sold back in the late 1970s but the family still has some land in the area, Mark explained. 

Together, they have planted over 10,000 trees on their property and restored 6.5 hectares to reconnect valuable ecosystems within the Credit River Watershed’s Natural Heritage System.

“We do not do it for the recognition from the community. We do it because it is the right thing to do,” Mark said. 

“My father-in-law planted trees 40 years ago with the assistance of CVC and we have the pleasure of enjoying the forest that now exists,” he added. 

“So to keep playing forward and revitalizing the land we have followed their lead and it is our wish that others in the community and our family will continue to respect the land.”

Erin residents Wendy Walgate and Duncan Glaholt also received a Landowner Stewardship award for their commitment to transform over 14 hectares (72 per cent) of their property to support of a healthy environment. 

Over the last 15 years, they’ve planted 12,500 trees and restored 400 metres of stream that supports a cold-water fish community. 

They have become life-long stewards of their land, fostering a multi-generational connection to nature, officials say. 

“It means that there is truth in the phrase ‘think globally, act locally,’ and that this is recognized by the broader Peel community,” Walgate and Glaholt stated of receiving the award. 

“We have taken chemically managed fields, turned them back into a working part of the watershed here,” they added. 

“The sight of our groves and plantings, the renewal our little tributary creek feeding into the West Credit River is reward enough.”

The Conservation Awards program recognizes projects and initiatives that help protect, connect and sustain the Credit River Watershed.