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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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He​​​althy Land

The Healthy Land award celebrates improvement projects that help to support and protect natural heritage features​ including woodlands, wetlands and their functions; wildlife habitat; biodiversity and ecological restoration; soil erosion; and trail development.

The Healthy Land award was presented to the following recipients in 2022:

Two hands pressing down the soil around a sappling

Bob and Melinda Diebel (Township of Brock)

This father-daughter duo planted 3,400 trees across almost four acres of their property. The diversity of tree species (White Pine, White Cedar, White Spruce, and Red Oak) will provide wildlife in the area with a large space to gather and thrive. The forest will also provide many positive benefits not only to Bob and Melinda's family but to the surrounding area as well, like sequestering carbon, improving air quality, moderating the local climate, and improving overall health and well-being.

Jane Lampert standing outdoors with a full bag of garbage in front of her from cleanning upJane Lampert (City of Barrie)

Jane is a wealth of knowledge about native plants and invasive species. Over the years, she has planted a large native plant garden and has spearheaded the removal of invasive plants along the North Shore Trail in Barrie. Jane has also led a small team of volunteers to remove Garlic Mustard, Dog Strangling Vine, Phragmites, and other invasives from this waterfront area. Her passion is contagious and tremendously inspiring - when she is not pulling weeds or growing native plants, she is planting native species along sections of the trail, educating people on identifying invasives, how best to remove them and what to do after they have been removed.

Meagan Potter kneeling down in her pollinator gardenMeagan Potter (Township of East Gwillimbury)

Instrumental in raising awareness about protecting pollinators in her community, Meagan has also done the hands-on work to plant wildlife flowers like Black-eyed Susans and Wild Lupines in her East Gwillimbury backyard, at the local community centre and nearby parkette. Meagan also participates in events that create awareness to support bees and butterflies and her dedication has been invaluable to identifying and expanding the number of pollinator patches across the municipality, putting East Gwillimbury on the path to join the national network of “Butterflyways" designated by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Nancy and Steve Astin photographed in front of some treesNancy and Steve Astin, Lavendar North Farm, (Oro-Medonte)

This twosome planted over 5,000 trees on their property over the last 15 years. They planted a mixture of species including White Pine, White Spruce, Eastern White Cedars, Silver Maple, Red Oak and Tamarack trees along with Red Osier Dogwood shrubs. Their efforts have added an additional hectare of new forested area to the Lake Simcoe watershed and will create new habitat for wildlife while also helping to absorb carbon.​

A single small sappling in the forefront in a field of newly planted sapplingsSarah Moynes (Township of Uxbridge)

Sarah planted trees to help clean the air and water in the surrounding area and to help mitigate the effects of climate change. She knows that that adding a new forest area on her property will create more habitat areas and travel corridors for local wildlife. Sarah's planting included White Pine, Eastern White Cedar and Norway Spruce trees, adding almost half a hectare of new forest to the Lake Simcoe Watershed.​

Wes Andrews (Cannington, Township of Brock)

As a responsible farmer, Wes upgraded the undersized manure storage on his farm. He installed a properly sized liquid manure pit, where contaminated run-off that was threatening the adjacent field would be properly managed. These upgrades also reduce the amount of phosphorus that reaches the watercourse nearby and he was also able to connect his milkhouse waste into the newly constructed storage to improve the handling of contaminated materials on his property. Reducing the amount of phosphorus entering watercourses improves not only water quality, but the conditions for aquatic life to thrive in Lake Simcoe.

a hand with work glove holding a tiny tree with roots exposed in front of an empty fieldMichael Dagenais (Township of King)

Inspired to plant trees on his property after chatting with several neighbours, Michael’s efforts to diligently prepare his property for the large-scale planting contributed to creating new wildlife habitat, sequestering carbon and erosion control.  White Pine, Eastern White Cedar, Tamarack, Red Oak and Silver Maple trees were planted, creating half a hectare of new forest area in the Lake Simcoe watershed.