The Healthy Water Award is presented to individuals and groups who have completed a project that improves, supports or protects the water quality in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Projects could include stormwater management, water conservation, streambank and shoreline restoration or stabilization, low impact development techniques and source water protection.
The Healthy Water award was presented to the following recipients in 2021:
Eek Farms (Township of King)
Farming 90 acres in the Holland Marsh, Eek Farms has planted streambank buffers and helped stabilize eroding river and drainage banks on their property by planting tree seedlings along the bank. This farm also uses cover crops for erosion control, to suppress weeds and improve overall soil health. They've installed a Tile Outlet Control Structure to control and manage the water on their fields, increase filtration and reduce pollutant loads. During the late spring, summer and fall, Eek Farms can set the control structure for optimum plant growth, while also having the ability to close it during rain events to reduce loading to municipal drains.
Goodyear Farms (Township of Brock)
Goodyear Farms is a 340 hectare farm in the northern part of the Lake Simcoe watershed. To reduce the amount of sediment and agricultural runoff flowing into Lake Simcoe, nine best management practices were implemented including cover crops and buffer plantings, two wet ponds for water control and irrigation, four water and sediment control basins to help control and filter sediment, and linear ditches to remove outlets from the farm. Trees and shrubs were also planted and additional improvements continue to be made. These practices reducing runoff demonstrate a true commitment by Goodyear Farms to the health of Lake Simcoe.
Jim Wood (Watershed-wide)
As an experienced rural fuel distributor, Jim knows the contamination risk that leaked or spilled fuel poses to sources of drinking water. The source water protection program has truly benefitted from Jim's decades of experience to support their efforts. He's helped with the development of fuel storage policies, spoken at source water protection outreach events, and instructed on best management practices and effective risk management measures. He's also conducted workshops with fuel providers to increase awareness. Jim is a key player in the industry and a trusted source of information to hundreds of homeowners and businesses that store fuel in vulnerable areas. His ongoing and consistent passion for keeping our drinking water sources safe has made a real difference in the watershed.
Katherine Sprigg (Town of East Gwillimbury)
Katherine recognized the invasive species “water soldier” growing in the pond on her property. Water Soldier is a highly problematic invasive species and Katherine knew that prevention is the most cost-effective method of dealing with it. Once identified, several organizations and volunteers physically removed the water soldier from her pond and a herbicide application was used to address the remaining plants. This project aimed to prevent an invasion of water soldier from re-occurring in the rivers and tributaries surrounding Lake Simcoe while also working towards the eradication of water soldier in Ontario. We are happy to report that as of the summer of 2020 no Water Soldier plants have re-emerged in Katherine’s pond.
Kettleby Valley Camp (Township of King)
Together with various partners, this group restored a section of Kettleby Creek that runs through their camp property and removed an aging dam structure that was a barrier to fish migration. The removal of the dam allows coldwater fish to migrate through the ecosystem unhindered. It also reconnects rivers and streams, enhances the genetic stock of fish populations and reduces thermal impacts. Natural watercourses, with their vegetated flood plains and meandering channels, also help to slow the rate of water flow and provide ideal habitat for all life stages of fish populations.
Lauri Hoeg (Georgina Island, watershed wide)
Lauri has been and continues to be a strong voice on the important role water plays in our lives. She has been instrumental in deepening students' understanding of indigenous ways of knowing and infuses traditional teachings on the importance of water as the lifeblood to the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. Lauri has supported many school initiatives, has beautifully articulated the importance of water and continues to passionately teach about having a positive impact on the health and quality of Lake Simcoe and its watershed.
Lefroy Harbour (Town of Innisfil)
Two years ago, as part of their regular efforts to help protect Lake Simcoe, Lefroy Harbour purchased a “seabin” which is essentially a trash skimmer that collects garbage and debris in a container that floats in the water. Their first bucket was so successful, they’ve implemented a second seabin and have committed to doing monthly “waste characterization” where the contents of the seabin are shipped to the University of Toronto for content analysis.
Town of East Gwillimbury
The Town of East Gwillimbury completed two Low Impact Development projects over the last two years. Both projects included resurfacing public parking areas along with a bio-retention swale that captures, filters and infiltrates stormwater runoff from the newly paved surface areas. These projects included the planting of over 300 native shrubs and will help infiltrate 618 cubic metres of water every year and will also amount to a 0.39 kg/year reduction of phosphorus.