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June 15, 2012
For immediate release

Islanders awarded for environmental stewardship

Environment, Labour and Justice

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Islanders committed to protecting and improving Prince Edward Island’s environment were honoured by Lieutenant Governor Frank Lewis in a ceremony today.

His Honour joined the Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice, Janice Sherry, and Richard Davies, chair of the Environmental Advisory Council, to present the 2012 Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards at Southern Kings Consolidated School.

“I am very pleased to recognize these Islanders for their strong stewardship in the protection and preservation of our environment,” said Minister Sherry. “Through hard work and commitment, today’s award winners have demonstrated the collective responsibility we all share to protect our natural resources for today and for the next generation.”

This year’s award winners are Caledonia resident Jim Sutton, the Town of Stratford and Southern Kings Consolidated School who won the St Teresa’s Environmental Challenge Award.

The Environmental Advisory Council, a ministerial advisory group, has recognized citizens for their environmental achievements since it was established in 1987.

2012 Environmental Advisory Council Award Winners:

Southern Kings Consolidated School ~ St. Teresa’s School Environmental School Challenge

In the spring of 2005, students and staff at Southern Kings Consolidated School spearheaded an environmental project. In partnership with the Home and School Association, and the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, the school developed an educational and interactive nature trail that is used to teach natural resource issues at all grade levels. The 2.24 km Southern Kings Nature Trail, developed on woodlots adjacent to the school, allows for hands-on outdoor studies along field edges, hedgerows and wetlands, and through mixed woodlands. Students are able to learn key parts of their curriculum in their own outdoor classroom, just steps from the school door. This is an ongoing environmental project for the school.

Jim Sutton

Caledonia resident, Jim Sutton has logged several hundred volunteer hours working for the Piping Plover Guardian Program run by the Island Nature Trust. Volunteers are relied on to inspect beaches throughout the province where the piping plovers, an endangered species, are known to nest. If the birds are present, the nest sites are marked off and signs are placed to warn people not to disturb the nests and young chicks.

While the Island Nature Trust has some staff to carry out field work, the program would not be as effective without the contribution of Mr. Sutton. He has been an outstanding volunteer because of his commitment and the high quality of his work. Many birds have been able to nest because of his guardianship. For an endangered species struggling to survive, this work is hugely important.

Town of Stratford

The Town of Stratford is being honoured for its dedication to enhancing its natural resources and wildlife habitat.

The municipality has actively supported the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group, in association with the Hillsborough Area Watershed Co-operative, since its inception in 2009. This partnership has resulted in many environmental projects, including its latest project, the Pondside System Restoration Project, which will tackle a system in need of improvement and restoration. Working with the watershed group, the town also expanded its existing Water Conservation Education program to include watershed education.

Stratford is developing a water conservation program to reduce residential water consumption. A showerhead exchange program, toilet rebate program, rain barrel rebate, free water audits and a pilot metering program will all serve to educate the public on water usage and water conservation techniques.

The community has also allocated significant funding for tree planting in parks and public places. Combined with the efforts of the watershed group, more than 25,000 native seedlings, trees, shrubs and wildflowers have been planted within the past two years.

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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