Each year, Sierra Club Canada grants several awards to outstanding volunteers and staff across the Club. This year's awards were handed out at the Annual General Meeting in November in Ottawa.
Congratulations to all the winners! Your commitment to reducing our impact on the earth is a great gift to us all.
The Ron Burchell Membership Development Award
This award is given in memory of Sierra Club Canada founding president, Ron Burchell, to the volunteer who has contributed in an outstanding way to membership recruitment.
Recipient: Tim Murphy
Tim has been involved with Sierra Club Canada – Sierra Youth Coalition since 1998 when he attended the SYC Altlantic conference in New Brunswick. Through the Climate Change Caravan in 2001 he biked with other youth across Canada for 4 ½ month to raise awareness about climate change. He joined the SYC as the National Coordinator of the Community Youth Action Project in 2004 and in 2005 he started and coordinated the SYC’s bike Youth Action Gathering in New Brunswick. He was one of the founders of the Green Door Gala fundraiser, which is SYC's most successful annual fundraising event. As a member of the executive committee, Tim worked to create a policy on bilingualism and he lobbied for SYC to incorporate anti-oppression training and
frameworks into the SYC work and culture. He has continuously provided guidance
to SYC members. Currently Tim is organizing and participating in the “Biking to the Tar Sands” event.
The Chuck Chamberlin Award
This award is given in memory of Chuck Chamberlin to the volunteer who has contributed in significant ways to the health and growth of a local group.
Recipient: Harvey Scott
Harvey has been a member of the Executive committee of Sierra Club Canada Prairie Chapter and was a key local organizer in the local fights around pulp and paper development in his region. He was active in the opposition to the first proposed Mackenzie Pipeline and was involved throughout the North in the times of the Berger Inquiry. His efforts over the last years have been focused on building bridges across his communities and uniting First Nations, local citizens and Environmental NGOs, including Sierra Club Canada, together to protect one of the most threatened ecosystems in Canada. Harvey is a leader in his community and advocate for environmental protection in Northern Alberta. He is seen as a role model and mentor in grassroots leadership by the younger activist in the community. Harvey's passion and dedication to the cause is equally matched by his humility and commitment to bringing in new leaders and empowering communities to really take the reigns in our struggles for a clean environment.
The Conservation Chapter Award
This award is given to the volunteer who has contributed to a significant environmental campaign within their chapter.
Recipient: Almut Beringer
Almut has been involved with Sierra Club Canada since she returned to Canada in 2005 to take a position as Director of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). She founded and directs the Sustainable Campus project at the university and signed the university as an institutional partner to the SYC Sustainable Campus Project. Under Almut’s supervision, 2nd to 4th year Science, Arts and Business students at the university conducted a comprehensive campus sustainability audit, using SYC’s Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework (CSAF).This has led to engaging on- and off-campus partners in a multi-stakeholder process for sustainability. By joining UPEI to SYC Sustainable Campuses, Almut started a local group/chapter of this SYC campaign and linked UPEI to the regional and national levels of the Sustainable Campuses campaign. Almut has mentored UPEI students from introductory “greening the campus” work to participating in or leading regional, national, and international groups or events, such as the SYC Sustainable Campuses Project Committee, UN Climate Change COP/MOP meetings, and the Canadian Youth Delegation.
Almut has been a staunch supporter and spokesperson for SYC Sustainable Campuses. She has cited SYC Sustainable Campuses as a most effective and inspiring student/youth group and movement, and as an empowering sustainability education and advocacy campaign she knows from her campus sustainability work on three continents (North America, Australia, and Europe).
Almut has also organized sustainability initiatives and events at UPEI and beyond, in Charlottetown and Atlantic Canada, She has linked the university to local NGOs, the PEI environmental network, and the Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative; has sponsored public speakers and co-organized events, such as a David Suzuki visit in February 2007; and has participated in panels/public debates, such as after a screening of An Inconvenient Truth. Almut is recognized as an important ally in campus sustainability in Atlantic Canada.
The Gary Gallon Award for Environmental Achievement
Jenn has worked as Education Program Director with the BC chapter since 1997. Through the environmental education program the chapter has been able to reach 54,000 BC students since 1998. Reaching out to 8,000 students and 330 classrooms (twice each) last year resulted in over 3,000 students taking action. With Jenn’s support the Atlantic Canada Chapter was able to set up their Education Program. More recently she has met with the Quebec Chapter to talk to them about environmental education. This past year, the BC Chapter partnered with SYC to offer a Sustainable High Schools Program. Jenn is known nationally for her work in environmental education, which helps boost the reputation of Sierra Club in this area.
This award is given annually to the staff member at the SYC, chapter or national level of Sierra Club Canada who best exemplifies qualities of commitment to the organization, respect for others, dogged perseverance in the cause of the planet and all its creatures.
Recipients: Lisa Matthaus and Jenn Hoffman
Lisa joined Sierra Club Canada in 1998 and has taken lead roles for the BC Chapter in several forestry-related initiatives, particularly those related to logging subsidies, forest certification, forest community transition and related forest policy reform. Since 2002 she has led the Chapter’s involvement in the initiative to
develop a new model of conservation for the Great Bear Rainforest. More
recently, Lisa has been developing the BC Chapter’s climate change campaign.
She has gained extensive experience with media and government in these
roles. Lisa represents the club internationally on the Forest Certification Committee (Sierra Club US) and the Forest Stewardship Council. Lisa has been flexible over the years, moving into positions as the Chapter needs her.
The Sierra Youth Coalition Inspiration Award
This award marks an outstanding contribution by a Sierra Club Canada member under 25 years old.
Recipient: Joshua Darrach
Joshua is a 4th year Philosophy/Environmental Studies student at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and has been a campus sustainability activist since his second year. He has been active in the local, regional, and national levels of the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC) Sustainable Campuses project, including the SYC Sustainable Campuses Regional Action Committee (RAC) and the National Project Committee. Josh organized the regional and local delegations to the SYC Sustainable Campuses conferences 2005 and 2007. He participated in and was invited to coordinate the Canadian Youth Delegation at the international UN Climate Change COP/MOP meetings in Nairobi, Kenya and Bali, Indonesia. He championed the Sustainable UPEI Project, a multi-stakeholder ‘greening the campus’ campaign at the University of Prince Edward Island, becoming the Project’s most critical and irreplaceable student member and founded the UPEI Student Environmental and Sustainability Society, which he now directs.
Josh published monthly sustainability-related articles in the campus student newspaper and has written sustainability articles for the province-wide newspaper The Guardian.
In 2006, Josh served as Conference Coordinator for the SYC Sustainable Campuses annual conference, where he excelled to make the conference a very successful conference in the 10-year history of the SYC Sustainable Campuses Project. His charismatic, diplomatic and friendly nature have endeared him both on- and off-campus so that he was able to attract senior provincial government members (ministers) and internationally-renowned keynote speakers to the conference. Josh’s unwavering dedication as well as an infectious passion for sustainability has inspired countless other young people for sustainability and climate change – at UPEI, in the broader PEI community, across Canada, and through his international UN work. He has touched thousands of young people in Canada and internationally, being a multiplier for environmental, sustainability, and climate change issues and activism.