Essex Region Conservation Honours Award Winners

Thursday, January 23, 2020

2020 ERCA Award Winners

Essex Region – Ten organizations and individuals were honoured with Essex Region Conservation Awards for their efforts in making the Windsor/Essex/Pelee Island region the Place for Life.

“It’s very inspiring to have the opportunity to celebrate so many organizations and individuals who have made an incredible impact on the environment,” said Richard Wyma, ERCA’s General Manager/Secretary-Treasurer. “This year was a tipping point in awareness about the urgent need to take action for the environment, and we are pleased to recognize those who are making a difference.”

Winners included:

Abby Meloche –  Youth Award to this Tecumseh Vista Student where she is a member of the Ecoteam and the  Minister of Environment. She has initiated a school wide battery drive, community E-waste event, and litter cleanup. She helps maintain the school’s community garden, and has supported a Community Fridge to aid hungry students while reducing waste.  

Paquette Farms of Malden Ltd. – Conservation Farm Award for use of red clover cover crops, minimum till and no-till cropping; precision soil sampling; variable rate fertilizer application; water and sediment control structures and rock chutes to reduce soil erosion; planting windbreaks and maintaining buffer strips along watercourses.

Dr. John C. Carter – John R. Park Homestead Award to this widely published Ontario museologist, author and historian. The Homestead’s first Curator, he has written many scholarly articles and maintained a keen interest in the Park family and its involvement in Great Lakes maritime commerce.  His newest book – The Perils and Pitfalls of the Steamer Ploughboy: A Story of Its Construction to Destruction details the intriguing history of one of the Park Brothers’ merchant ships.

Tim Shortridge – Volunteer Award for significant contributions in community tree planting, citizen science, and monitoring tree health.  He is a member of the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club and has adopted an amphibian route within the Marsh Monitoring Program.

David D’Hondt – Education Award for 16 years of environmental education to students at St. Peter Elementary School, including leading the Ecoteam, initiating innovative recycling programs, composting, and undertaking cleanups and wildlife data collection in the school and its surrounding community.  As well, Mr. D’Hondt is the lead for the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board’s environmental education programs on Fighting Island.

Anderdon Public School – Education Award for educating and engaging students in litter-less lunches, plastic water bottle reduction and schoolyard greening; and achieving platinum EcoSchool status. As well, the Eco-team has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in engaging municipal Councils and the Greater Essex County District School Board in banning single use plastics.

Ric Coronado – Environmental Achievement for over three decades of environmental advocacy. Ric established the environment committee at Local 444, and went on to push for the contract language for joint workplace environment committees that became the model for all Canadian ‘big three’ manufacturing facilities. He founded the Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, advocated tirelessly for the Detroit River, and has inspired generations of environmental advocates. (presented posthumously)

City of Windsor –Robert Pulleyblank Award for Municipal Environmental Achievement for its significant work in climate adaptation and mitigation, leadership in adopting a Climate Emergency declaration, the completion of the Sewer Master Plan to reduce flooding risks, and the significant engineering studies to protect the Riverside area from flooding. The City has also made tree canopy one of its top priorities, and committed $2.5 million to protected Pêche Island from erosion while undertaking the largest habitat restoration program on the Canadian side of the Detroit River to date.

Ray Renaud – Special Recognition for Environmental Leadership for his tenure as ERCA Chair, and his longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. Accomplishments included his advocacy to create Petite Cote as a publicly accessible Conservation Area in LaSalle, and his leadership in supporting the development of the Clean Water ~ Green Spaces initiative.

Danielle Breault Stuebing – Dennis Chase Staff Award for being a dedicated ambassador of the Place For Life, and leading ERCA’s Community Outreach Team in executing countless events, and reaching thousands of citizens of all ages on many important environmental and educational topics. Recognized for 20 years of service, this award honours kindness, spirit, and appreciation for others.

A full copy of ERCA’s Annual Report can be found at

Since 1973, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.


Media Contacts:
Danielle Breault Stuebing
Director, Communications & Outreach Services
519-776-5209 ext.352

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