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June 19, 2013
For immediate release
Minister Sherry presents 2013 Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards
Environment, Labour and Justice
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A watershed pioneer, a school with a commitment to environmental education and a community group committed to a cleaner Island are the winners of the 2013 Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards, Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry says.
“The Island environment nourishes us all, and protection of the Island environment is a responsibility that all Islanders share. I am proud to have such strong partners in government’s work to uphold environmental values in this province,” the Minister said.
Lieutenant Governor Frank Lewis and Minister Sherry presented the awards in a ceremony at Gulf Shore School this morning.
• Mark Bishop – Founder of the Lot 11 and area Watershed Group. Founding member of the PEI Watershed Alliance.
• PEI Women’s Institute – This century-old community group has organized and led roadside cleanup efforts for 40 years.
• Gulf Shore School – This school contributes to the environment in a number of ways – notably with an electricity-generating wind turbine and with development of the Nature Stadium which uses restored woodlands to teach about nature and the environment.
The Environmental Advisory Council first began honouring Islanders for environmental leadership in 1987.
To be eligible for an award, nominees must have been instrumental in identifying, reducing, solving or avoiding an environmental problem; demonstrating consistently responsible environmental management practices; and/or promoting public awareness, understanding and active concern for the enhancement and protection of the environment.
For more than a decade, Mark Bishop has been a champion for the environment on Prince Edward Island. He has made far-reaching and long-lasting contributions to Prince Edward Island’s environment.
Mark Bishop is a founding member of the Lot 11 and Area Watershed Group and continues to be very active with this group as they carry out projects in their watershed.
Mark has also taken this commitment to watershed protection province-wide as a founding member of the PEI Watershed Alliance. Through his efforts, both environmental groups and agricultural groups have joined with the Watershed Alliance, and Mark has been valuable in bringing these groups together for the cause of watershed protection.
Mark was heavily involved in developing the “Technical Manual for Watershed Management on Prince Edward Island” – one of the key tools that watershed groups use in planning and executing work to protect their local watershed.
He has been willing to deal with the media. He has been courageous in his willingness to raise tough issues. He has helped empower people and organizations to take on the mission of protecting the Island environment.
Prince Edward Island Women’s Institute
The PEI Women’s Institute (WI) has been a central part of Island life for 100 years.
The WI has contributed to Island life in a variety of ways but, for the past several decades, one of their most visible contributions has been the annual WI roadside cleanup.
In 1973, the Women’s Institute first planned a roadside pickup to mark the centennial of the Island’s entry into Confederation.
For 40 years, they have led an annual cleanup that in return has left our landscape clean and pleasant. These cleanups bring out community groups, church congregations, scout troops, schools and families who make a literal “hands-on” effort to environmentalism and pollution control.
These cleanups make an obvious contribution to the improvement of the Island landscape, but they also have the lasting benefit of helping a range of Islanders get involved in environmental improvement.
By passing on the importance of environmental work and environmental protection, the Women’s Institutes of Prince Edward Island are continuing a respected and valuable tradition.
Gulf Shore School
Environmental School Challenge Award
Gulf Shore School contributes to the environment in a number of ways, but the school’s most ambitious environmental project was visible to all of us as we drove up for today’s ceremony.
In 2007, Gulf Shore received government funding to erect a wind turbine that would provide renewable energy to the school. This wind turbine reduces operating costs for the school, lowers the carbon footprint, and establishes this school and its students as very visibly involved in environmental work.
That commitment shows in a number of other areas. Near this school is the Nature Stadium. This was once a stand of woods that was commonly used as a garbage disposal. But staff, students and community volunteers helped clean the area out and turn it into a place where students could go to observe and learn from nature.
This is a valuable and inspiring place in which community togetherness, environmental awareness and school spirit come together.
With its renewable energy work, its Nature Stadium and its atmosphere of community involvement and environmental responsibility, Gulf Shore School is taking on an important leadership role for the environment of Prince Edward Island.