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2017 Finalists

Meet the finalists in the 2017 Nature Inspiration Awards.

Lifetime Achievement
Not-for-Profit Organization (Small and Medium)
Not-for-Profit Organization (Large)
Business (Small and Medium)
Business (Large)

Youth Award

Stella Bowles
13 years old
LaHave, Nova Scotia
Concerned about contamination in her local river, the LaHave, Stella led a campaign to eliminate straight pipes, an older technology that allows untreated sewage to flow directly into the river. Stella's campaign successfully mobilized federal funding to help home owners replace these systems. She also received a silver medal at the 2016 Canada-Wide Science Fair for her project on testing bacteria in the river.

Savannah Myers
10 years old
Morrisburg, Ontario
Savannah has used creativity to help her community learn about bees. By producing a flyer to inform gardeners about the habits of pollinators and the plants they need for survival, she is helping people make better choices about what species to plant in their gardens.



Adult Award

Adam Oliver Brown
Gatineau, Quebec
Adam is a science professor at the University of Ottawa. He has also written, produced, hosted and narrated documentaries and video blogs on science and nature. His passion for science communication led to a cross-appointment to the university's education faculty.

Howard Clifford
Lanark, Ontario
Howard has dedicated himself to land conservation. In 2009, he created cliffLAND, a 506-hectare wilderness tract southwest of Ottawa as a land trust. It is the second-largest legally protected area in Lanark County, after Murphy's Point Provincial Park. His initiative, A Wild Child, enables children to engage with nature.

Shannon Dyck
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Shannon is passionate about working with others to create vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities. She is a co-founder of Radiance Cohousing and instigator of the Healthy Yards program. Her focus is on homes that are sustainable and energy efficient, and use shared spaces and a "sharing economy" model.

Max Finkelstein
Ottawa, Ontario
Max Finkelstein, known as Canada's "canoe man," is an outstanding leader, educator and writer on Canada's natural history and conservation. He organizes educational canoe trips and paddling events. Max estimates that he has paddled more than 25 000 km on five continents, and in 2015 was named as one of Canada's Top 100 Explorers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Sandra Lawn
Prescott, Ontario
Sandra is the longest-serving mayor in the history of Prescott, situated along the St. Lawrence River. As chair of the South Grenville Economic Development Commission, she spearheaded the cleanup of the town's shoreline. Her legacy isn't just a significant waterfront park and naturalized area, but also community building and promoting volunteerism.



Lifetime Achievement Award

Louis Fortier
Québec, Quebec
Louis Fortier, Ph.D., is the Scientific Director of ArcticNet. Over the past 20 years, his leadership has secured funds to develop national and international research initiatives in the Arctic, including the International North Water Polynia Study (NOW), the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) and ArcticNet. His vision and influence have helped engage Inuit at all levels of the research process, cross barriers among the natural, social and health sciences, and forge new partnerships between academia and the private sector. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada (2007).

Not-for-Profit Organization (Small and Medium) Award

ALUS Canada
Toronto, Ontario
ALUS leads at the grassroots level, helping farmers and ranchers restore marginal farmland into healthy natural ecosystems that sustain agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces for all Canadians. Now active in six provinces, by the end of 2016, 832 farmers and ranchers had conserved 23 000 acres of their private lands through more than 3800 ALUS projects.

Arctic Eider Society
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
The Arctic Eider Society works with Inuit and Cree communities around Hudson Bay and James Bay to address environmental change that affects sea-ice ecosystems through research, education and outreach. This community-driven approach brings together traditional knowledge and scientific research to monitor sea ice and report it through an Arctic-wide social-media style platform named SIKU.

GREMM (Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins)
Tadoussac, Quebec
GREMM (marine mammal research and education group) works to protect whales in the St. Lawrence River through research and public education on the importance of ecosystem science and conservation. Its Marine Interpretation Centre welcomes thousands of visitors every year, while its whale-distress line engages hundreds of volunteers and dozens of partners.

Nature Canada—Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives
Ottawa, Ontario
Cats are the third-largest human-related cause of bird deaths, after climate change and habitat loss. Nature Canada implemented an innovative, positive campaign that encourages cat owners to keep their pets safe and under supervision, while saving bird lives. The program's partners include vets and nature conservation organizations, mayors and even author Margaret Atwood.

Power to Be
Victoria, British Columbia
Power to Be is committed to empowering people living with barriers or disabilities to explore their abilities and engage with the natural world. Programs support both day adventures close to home and multi-day expeditions further afield. The program also includes an educational component that is focused on the environment, ecosystems and environmental responsibilities.



Not-for-Profit Organization (Large) Award

Québec, Quebec
Established in 2004, this research network studies the impacts of climate change and modernization in the coastal Canadian Arctic. ArcticNet mobilizes a vast network of over 140 researchers and 150 partners in 14 countries. It has transformed the Canadian Arctic sciences, and ensured that academic expertise is integrated with Inuit and local knowledge to enable more inclusive approaches to policy and decision-making.

Rideau Valley Conversation Authority—City Stream Watch
Manotick, Ontario
This community-based partnership of six Ottawa-area organizations mobilizes volunteers to protect and enhance local streams. Twenty-five urban streams are now monitored. In 2016, 286 community volunteers supported projects such as riparian planting, fish/wildlife sampling, invasive species removals, garbage cleanups and habitat restoration.

Royal Ontario Museum—Out of the Depths: The Blue-Whale Story
Toronto, Ontario
When nine blue whales were stranded and died in thick ice off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014, the Royal Ontario Museum recovered and conserved the remains of the two that had washed ashore. Immediately, the museum began sharing the story of these creatures. Through research, public engagement and exhibition creation, the ROM has inspired the public to learn more about whales and ocean conservation.

Scouts Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
For more than 100 years, environmental stewardship has been at the heart of Scouts Canada's vision. The organization has over 60 000 youth members and a presence in every community across Canada. Recent projects include Enviromentality, Adopt a Park, Scoutrees and STEM Adventures.

Wesley Clover Parks
Ottawa, Ontario
Nestled on 300 acres in the Ottawa region, Wesley Clover Parks is a four-season outdoor recreation area that provides a habitat for various endangered species including the monarch butterfly and the Bobolink. It hosts the country's first Forest and Nature School, and has partnered on a new pollinator initiative to encourage beekeeping.



Business (Small and Medium) Award

Baka Communications, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario
Established in 1985, Baka is a wireless and business-solutions provider focussed on having a positive impact on the planet. The company stands out for its innovation and green initiatives. It has installed Canada's largest solar-charging carport, donated land for organic farming, and made several energy-efficient improvements at its head office.

Fresh City Farms
Toronto, Ontario
Fresh City is an urban farm and online farmer's market. Its business model is committed to building a green community while demystifying food-production practices for urban dwellers. Initiatives include reusable packaging for deliveries from farms, use of electric vehicles and bikes, and an e-commerce platform that predicts demand in order to minimize food waste.

GreenBug Energy Inc.
Delhi, Ontario
GreenBug Energy's tiny turbines provide a green, water-powered energy option. The simple system can be used by even small farms or individual households as a sustainable energy source. Its project in Norfolk County will produce enough electricity for about 38 homes a year, and reduce CO2 emissions by 283 tonnes per year.

Helping Nature Heal
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Helping Nature Heal is an ecological landscaper whose approach focuses on sustainable methods. This includes using native plants and creating spaces that engage, educate and foster community spirit. Notable projects include the creation of Living Shorelines for public lands in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and building the landscape for the first LEED Platinum-Certified house in the Maritimes.

Ungalli Clothing
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Sisters Hailey and Bree Holinsworth founded Ungalli because they were concerned about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Ungalli's clothing is made from recycled plastic bottles, re-used cotton and organic cotton. Most of the clothing is produced in Canada through environmentally conscious processes. One Ungalli t-shirt saves 16 water bottles from going into the landfill.



Business (Large) Award

Coca-Cola Canada
Toronto, Ontario
Coca-Cola Canada's commitment to 100% replenishment of water used in its processes extends to the restoration of Canadian water habitats. Through community partnerships across Canada, the company has helped community groups restore wetlands in Calgary, Alberta, and around Lake Ontario, and restore forests around Pelee Island, Ontario, to name a few.

Samsung Electronics Canada
Toronto, Ontario
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge aims to make science cool for Canadian youth and encourages careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program challenges teachers to engage their classes to develop innovative technology-based solutions to global issues.

Scotts Canada Ltd.
Toronto, Ontario
As garden enthusiasts, Scotts Canada has partnered with local groups to develop community gardens through its Scotts' GRO1000 program. The goal of this initiative is to create 1000 community gardens and green spaces in Canada, the United States and Europe by 2018. Scotts Canada also works with partners such as Bees Matter for the program The Pollinator Promise, Communities in Bloom, Nutrients for Life and Plant a Row • Grow a Row.

Sherritt International
Toronto, Ontario
"Demonstrating environmental responsibility" is a pillar of Sherritt's corporate values. The mining company is demonstrating leadership related to its operations, in the sustainable management of biodiversity; land, water and energy uses; climate change and tailings. These commitments are supported by an integrated management system with company-wide standards that drive continuous improvement.