The environment took centre stage Monday night at Powerhouse Theatre as the City of Vernon and Regional District of the North Okanagan co-hosted the 2011 Sustainability/Environmental Leadership Awards.
The event, hosted by Sun FM’s Brian Martin and April Lyn, started with Vernon Secondary School claiming the Youth Leadership in Sustainability Award for their Water Walk-a-Thon event.
To raise awareness about water issues in Africa, and raise money for clean water and school supplies in their adopted village in Kenya, students walked from VSS to Kal Beach, filled containers with water, and hiked all the way to the school.
Terryn Thachuk, owner of Om Naturale Herbal Care Co., pocketed the Seed Award for her environmentally responsible approach to business.
Thachuk, who competed in her first-ever half Ironman triathlon the day before in Oliver, makes and sells soaps, toothpaste, lotions, teas, deodorant, sunscreen and delicious cookies, using local and natural ingredients.
Dave Weatherill of Briteland Holdings Ltd. earned the Sustainable Business Award. From manufacturing and selling Bio-Bins to demonstrating their Bokashi Cycle to recycle food waste, Briteland is involved in the community.
The Sustainable Building and Development Award went to Albert Pelleboer of Pelleboer Construction for his dedication in sourcing local wood and promoting sustainable design.
Taking home the Community Sustainability Seed Award was the Intergenerational Landed Learning Program. The award was accepted by Sandi Dixon and Linda Peterat.
The program, supported by the Okanagan Science Centre, teaches Grade 4 and 5 students where their food comes from, how to care for a garden and the joy of eating freshly picked vegetables.
In the RDNO Environmental Leadership Awards, Mary Stockdale and Bill Darnell, founding members of the Climate Action Network Group, secured the Air Quality Improvement Award.
Aerial Contractors Ltd., who have implemented a no idle policy and a comprehensive recycling program, were co-winners.
Tourism Vernon & Vernon Visitor Centre won the Community Clean Up Award for their participation in the annual Rivers Day creek clean up.
The Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce were co-winners for their River Ambassador Program and involvement in the B.C. Rivers Day celebration.
In the Invasive Plants Control category, David Kennedy was honoured for spearheading community weed-pulls in the Foothills area over the past several years.
Peter and Hylda Mayfield, who help organize the annual Knapweed Pull, were also recognized.
Heather Fleury walked off with the Sustainability Award for her involvement with the Cherryville Farmers’ Market.
Dr. Michael Carlson, a promoter of environmental sustainability in the North Okanagan for more than 25 years, was also recognized.
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Award went to Brock and Cindy Garvin of Re-Cycled Accessories, who shared the award with the Tuesday Night Ladies Hiking Group.
In the Water Stewardship category, Susan Latimer received an award for her involvement in the BX Creek Wetlands Enhancement and Interpretative Signage Project.
Gay Jewitt, a driving force behind the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre, was also honoured.
The event also featured Inquisitive Clips, a contest for environmental videos.
Taking the Sun FM Sunscreen Award was Jim Elderton’s Sustaining Venture Training.
Tanya Lipscomb (aka Kiki the Eco Elf) won an iPad for claiming first place in the City of Vernon/RDNO video award for her feature, Change the World.
Kora Vanderlip, the 13-year-old creator of A Moment, was runner-up.
Winners of Sustainability Awards received a framed image while Seed Award winners received a framed certificate signed by Mayor Wayne Lippert, who was on hand to present the awards.
Winners of the RDNO awards took home an engraved plaque and a cheque for $100.