From digging flower gardens to save pollinators to raising salmon from eggs, the efforts of dedicated Coquitlam environmentalists often goes unnoticed.
This week the city announced its 2020 environmental awards to honour the hard work of Coquitlam youth, adults and seniors.
Here’s this year’s list of award winners.
• Green Sprout Award (ages 3 to 12) – Julie Wang, Chloe Wang and Ryan Wang, three siblings who have been working together to clean the streets in their neighbourhood for the past two years through the City’s Adopt-a-Street program.
• Youth Award (ages 13 to 18) – Jason Liao, a founder of the Pollinator Project who has been inspiring other teens and adults in the community and beyond for years with his efforts to save bees and other pollinators. Liao was also one of the youngest recipients of the Ron McKinnon Community Champion Award.
• Adult Individual Award – Lori Austin, an energetic and enthusiastic supporter of many environmental causes – including the Burke Mountain Naturalists, the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterfly project and more – who also serves as a citizen representative on the city’s Sustainability & Environmental Advisory Committee.
• Teacher or Educator – Nicole McKenzie, a kind and enthusiastic teacher with School District 43’s Encompass program who makes an effort to incorporate the environment into her lessons, to use the outdoors as a classroom, and to inspire her students to take action, such as volunteering for the city’s Adopt-a-Trail program.
• School or Youth Group Award – Pollinator Project, a youth-led organization dedicated to improving the health of pollinators and educating the public about related environmental issues. Its work has included planting 30 residential green spaces and constructing three green spaces in Coquitlam.
• Adult Group Award – Pasquale and Rob Gnocato, familiar faces at the Inspiration Garden, where they donated and have maintained the mason bee house for many years while sharing their expertise with others, both informally and through seminars.
• Lifetime Achievement Award - Norm Fletcher, who has worked for decades to support local fish populations and has been instrumental in rejuvenating the Coquitlam River. For at least 20 years, Fletcher has been a dedicated volunteer at the Grist Goesen Memorial Hatchery, a project of the Port Coquitlam & District Hunting and Fishing Club. He has also been closely involved with the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable over the years.
Award recipients received a certificate and were recognized on the city website at www.coquitlam.ca/enviroawards and social media.