2016 Hamilton Conservation Authority Conservation and Watershed Stewardship Awards
The 2016 Conservation and Watershed Stewardship Awards were presented at the December 8 Conservation Advisory Board meeting.
HCA recognized Mark Tamminga and Joany Verschuuren in the Conservation Award category of “Community Award”. Mark and Joany have made significant donations through the Hamilton Conservation Foundation to Hamilton Conservation Authority projects across the watershed, most notably in the Dundas Valley, and recently to Maplewood Naturalization and Hermitage Restoration. These projects would not have happened without Mark and Joany’s support as they were instrumental in bringing other donors on board. Mark and Joany have also supported the Dundas EcoPark campaign and Canal Park restoration.
In addition, Mark arranged for in-kind legal support for the re-writing of the Hamilton Conservation Foundation’s bylaws.
Watershed Stewardship Award
The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, on Dundurn Street South, in the Chedoke Creek Watershed was presented with the Watershed Stewardship Award. Church members have been working with the Hamilton Watershed Stewardship Program since 2011 to enhance their vast garden spaces with native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in support of a biodiverse environment that educates and provides a welcoming space for both people and creatures alike. They have managed to mitigate the invasive species on site and have replaced them with tended beds that allow for a place of contemplative peace and ecological bounty. The space is truly an urban ecological piece of paradise.
The Stewards of the gardens have utilized the Hamilton Watershed Stewardship Program for support on several native plantings since initially developing a relationship with the program.
The transformation that has taken place over the years has benefited local and migrating wildlife, and will provide a natural space for the congregation as well as the community to appreciate and enjoy. The great diversity of plant species now inhabiting the property will enhance the biodiversity of the watershed.
One need only take a walk around the grounds to see that it is a loved space for young and old alike with whimsical painted signs, gardens to memorialize those not forgotten and the people often tending to its care.
The hard work put in by the garden tenders has led to a biodiverse green space that can support a variety of resident and migratory species, proving what be accomplished in an urban setting and why The First Unitarian Church of Hamilton has been chosen for a 2016 Watershed Stewardship Award.