Islanders recognized for environmental stewardship
A dedicated group of Islanders were recognized today for protecting the environment.
The annual Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards were presented to winners in three categories: individual, organization, and school. The awards are given annually by the Environmental Advisory Council.
“It is important that we celebrate the community-minded people who work across Prince Edward Island to protect the environment,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Richard Brown said. “Our province’s size is our strength. It makes us mighty, by allowing us to come together and work on what matters most, which is keeping our Island a healthy, vibrant place to live.”
This year’s winners are:
- Individual category -- Wayne Gairns, North Wiltshire
- Organization category –Eastern Kings Senior Neighbours Club
- School category –Queen Elizabeth Elementary School, Kensington.
“It is a pleasure for me to be involved in recognizing the people, organizations, and schools who are committed to protecting our environment for the benefit of all Islanders,” said Dean Stewart, Environmental Advisory Council chair. The awards were presented at the home of the school category winner, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School in Kensington.
The Eastern Kings Senior Neighbours Club started an organic community garden in 2017 to help raise awareness among children about where their food comes from and to promote the values of organic crops. The club also taught rug braiding and rug hooking using recycled blankets and it hosted a series of presentations on environmental awareness with the Souris & Area Wildlife Branch.
Wayne Gairns has shown great dedication to watershed restoration. He has volunteered in the Fisheries and Oceans “Adopt a River” program. He was the driving force behind the creation of the PEI Federation of Fly Fishers to oversee work on the West River. He was a key figure in the initial setup of the semi-natural rearing pond at Mooney’s Pond and he plays an active role in a number of organizations including the Central Queens Wildlife Federation and the Island Nature Trust.
Students of Queen Elizabeth Elementary School are involved in a number of activities that teach environmental stewardship. Students participate in garbage pickup days. They raise butterflies to tag and release. They grow plants to learn about plant life cycles and to beautify their school. They raise salmon from eggs and release them in the spring. The school also has a recycling program and makes organic vegetable boxes to promote eating locally and sustainably.