Forests Ontario’s Annual Conference was held February 8 at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario. Ontario’s largest forestry conference, the event brought together more than 400 forestry enthusiasts for discussions and presentations under the theme of Natural Connections. The Conference featured an awards ceremony recognizing groups and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to Ontario forestry.
The Ontario Wood Award is presented to an individual or organization that has contributed to the positive promotion of the Ontario Wood brand. Ontario Wood – a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry program – encourages consumers to choose products made by local artisans using locally sourced wood.
This year’s recipient, Sacha Gendron, was recognized for her efforts to promote the importance of local wood products, and their role in reducing waste and carbon sequestration. Through her partnerships with Ontario Wood product manufacturers and local environmental groups, Sacha leads demonstrations for students across the Greater Toronto Area and shares her work through social media under the handle @CuttingEdgeSacha.
The 2019 Green Legacy Award recognizes a corporate partner whose work has helped ensure a green legacy for future generations. The recipient was Honda Canada Foundation for making Canada greener through their One Honda. One Tree initiative in which a tree is planted for every Honda lawn mower, tiller, or trimmer sold between April and July. The initiative is responsible for planting more than 100,000 trees across five provinces. Honda has also engaged its employees and supported Forests Ontario simultaneously by participating in Community Tree Plant events, bringing out hundreds of employees to plant trees. Additional awards presented included:
• Susan Wiecek Award - Virginia deCarle (deCarle Forestry Services), for outstanding contribution to forestry education in Ontario.
• Robert de Pencier Award – Dave Taylor (Lands & Forests Consulting, presented posthumously), for outstanding activity in private forest management and support for forestry promotion, education and understanding.
• Forests Ontario Award – Al Corlett, for achievements and contributions to forestry education in Canada and the world.
• Most Valuable Planter – Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, for contributions to healthy, natural ecosystems through tree planting initiatives.