Nelson City council gave out three annual Sustainability Leadership Awards at its Jan. 31 meeting.
In presenting an award to the Friends of Kootenay Lake Society, Mayor Janice Morrison said some of the group’s recent accomplishments include restoring 100 square metres of shore spawning kokanee habitat at Six Mile, restoring 3,500 square metres of wetland at Harrop, and motivating local communities to get involved in the stewardship of the lake.
“They have a stream monitoring program and have certified dozens of community members to monitor water quality,” Morrison said. “They have expanded the osprey nest monitoring program by 30 per cent, developed a podcast series with 20 episodes, and cleaned over 10,000 pounds of trash from lake shorelines.”
The society’s Kayla Tillapaugh, receiving the award, said, “We are a small team of three women and a small board of eight people, and it feels really good to be recognized.
“This award really goes out to our amazing community, which we are so grateful to be immersed within. It is really our funders including governments and foundations and local business who donate and sponsor, and our amazing and wonderful volunteers.”
A second award was given to wildlife biologist Joanne Siderius, the senior naturalist at the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre.
Morrison said Siderius should be celebrated for educating people about the wildlife and ecosystems in the park.
“She has put up a few wildlife trail cameras, and I have to say I love those. Aside from the excitement of discovering what has walked, flown, or crawled by the camera, she gets to share these videos with people as an educator.
“People take on stewardship when they care,” Morrison said, and Siderius helps them care about wildlife.
Siderius said she was moved by her work being acknowledged. She said she gets a lot of feedback about the trail camera videos from people who appreciate knowing what wildlife is in the area.
“When you just step outside your door and you look, the amazing things you can find, and we live here. Isn’t that amazing? The trail camera videos are just a bit of a reminder that we love living here. Come out and visit me sometime at the nature centre.”
A third award was given to Darren Davidson, a Nelson journalist and communications specialist for his work as the economic recovery advisor for the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce during the pandemic.
“Darren embodies what it means to be part of and contribute to our community,” Morrison said. “He provided the business community with much-needed assistance in pandemic recovery efforts, public safety protocols and labour market assistance.
“Darren presented to council on business recovery in our community a number of times over a couple of years, providing council with a clear and accurate picture of what our businesses were going through.”
Morrison also acknowledged Davidson as the author of the Nelson Star’s Business Buzz column and for his involvement with Kootenay Co-op Radio.
“Helping out this community after everything it has done for our family and kids for over 30 years is not a tough thing to do,” Davidson said on receiving the award.
“The opportunity to work with the chamber and (chamber executive director) Tom Thomson has been an awesome learning experience. The work I do for the Nelson Star is the nothing but fun because there are so many entrepreneurial people here.”
A fourth award was to be presented to the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society but there was no one at the meeting to receive it, so it will be presented at a future meeting.
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