Finalists announced for 2020 Nature Inspiration Awards from Canadian Museum of Nature

Finalists announced for 2020 Nature Inspiration Awards from Canadian Museum of Nature

OTTAWA, Sept. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences, is pleased to announce the 23 finalists and the Lifetime Achievement recipient for its 2020 Nature Inspiration Awards.
These national awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate projects by individuals, groups and organizations whose leadership and innovation connect Canadians with the natural world. Due to COVID precautions, this year’s winners will be announced by the museum on November 25 through online means, rather than during an in-person gala ceremony.The projects led by this year’s finalists, which were selected from among 85 nominations, address topics that include biodiversity and conservation, environmental education, and sustainable practices.Among them are youth who advocate about the wonder of species diversity, as well as adults who galvanize others to conserve natural areas. Not-for-profits show leadership in education to preserve waterways and forests, engagement of citizen-scientists, and the protection of natural environments. The businesses being recognized show innovation with the development of “green” products, as well as environmental stewardship programs.This year’s laureate of the Lifetime Achievement Award is spiritual leader, teacher and conservationist Father Charles Brandt, who lives in Black Creek, British Columbia. Now aged 97, the “hermit-priest” is best known for galvanizing volunteers and spearheading a campaign to successfully clean up the Tsolum River on Vancouver Island. This helped revitalize the river’s salmon population, which had declined due to pollution from an abandoned copper mine.The shortlist for the 2020 awards comprises finalists in six categories: Youth (aged 17 and younger), Individuals (aged 18 and up), Not-for-Profits (small to medium), Not-for-Profits (large), Businesses (small to medium), and Businesses (large).“Unlike past years, these 2020 awards are being announced at a time when access to nature, and a healthy connection with the natural world, seem more important than ever. Each of the finalists lead by example and inspire us in supporting a sustainable future,” says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature and Chair/ex-officio member of the selection jury. “We are pleased to recognize the efforts of our finalists, and even though we are forgoing our usual celebration gala, we look forward to acknowledging their achievements online through our website and social media channels.”The Nature Inspiration Awards are supported by media partners The Globe and Mail and the Walrus. Category sponsors are the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for the Youth Award, and Ontario Power Generation for the Not-for-Profits (small to medium) Award.       Winners for each category receive $5,000 that they can designate to a nature-related program of their choice. The Nature Inspiration Awards are produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature. Full details, as well as profiles of the finalists, can be found at nature.ca/awards.                                                                                                                                      
Here is the list of finalists:
Youth category (aged 17 and under)
Vesa Barileva, youth scientist (biodegradable food packaging), Oakville, OntarioGenevieve Leroux, environmental advocate for the Monarch Butterfly, Gatineau, QuebecGrace Gong, founder of Greenshirt, not-for-profit that diverts used clothing from landfill, Mississauga, OntarioSophia Spencer, author, insect enthusiast and founder of #BugsR4Girls, Sarnia, OntarioIndividual category (aged 18 and up)Nory Esteban, teacher and naturalist, coordinator of Wings over the Rockies bird festival, Port Coquitlam, British ColumbiaElin Kelsey, environmental activist and author, Victoria, British ColumbiaAmanda McConnell, co-founder of Grassroots Albany, a community forum for environmental discussion and action, Toronto, OntarioGary Schneider, environmentalist and co-founder of the Environmental Coalition of PEI, Stratford, Prince Edward IslandNot-For-Profit category (small/medium organization)International Conservation Fund of Canada, programs to conserve threatened tropical ecosystems, Chester, Nova ScotiaTree Canada, community engagement for tree-planting, Ottawa, OntarioWater Rangers, citizen-science efforts to collect water quality data, Ottawa, OntarioNot-For-Profit category (large organization)Beaty Water Research Centre, research, education and outreach about aquatic ecosystems, and clean water. Kingston, OntarioDavid Suzuki Foundation, Butterflyway Project: planting local wildflower, plant and shrubs patches Vancouver, British ColumbiaGoodwill Industries of Alberta, diversion and reuse of goods from landfill, Edmonton, Alberta
Nature-Action Québec, protection and preservation of natural areas in Montreal’s urban areas, Beloeil, QuebecBusiness category (small to medium)FireRein Inc, development of bio-based, non-toxic foams for use by firefighters, Napanee, OntarioPBA Tundra Supply, Ltd., research and development of a maple hybrid to grow in adverse soil conditions, West Elgin, OntarioSans façon, integration of a stormwater treatment facility into the design of an urban public park, Calgary AlbertaULAT Dryer Balls, invention, patent and development of wool dryer balls Parksville, British ColumbiaBusiness category (large)Fresh City Farms, Canada’s largest commercial urban farm, with a sustainable and locally focussed approach, North York, OntarioNutrien, use of a waste byproduct from the phosphate fertilizer industry to create soil and grow trees. Fort Saskatchewan, AlbertaOntario Power Generation, implementation of biodiversity conservation programs and environmental assessments, Toronto, OntarioTELUS, sustainable business practices towards 2030 carbon neutral goal, including tree-planting program to offset paper usage, Ottawa, OntarioAbout the Canadian Museum of Nature
Saving the world through evidence, knowledge and inspiration! The Canadian Museum of Nature provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature’s past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a collection of 14.6 million specimens and artifacts, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca.
Information for media:
Dan Smythe
Head, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.698.9253 (cell)
1.800.263.4433
dsmythe@mus-nature.ca
John Swettenham
Chief Marketing Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.868-8277 (cell)  
1.800.263.4433
jswettenhamnature.ca



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