From non-profit rallies to radio shows and shoreline seminars, a host of Highlanders work to bring awareness to environmental concerns around the County each year.
Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) through its “Enviro-Heroes” awards, singles out a few of those hard workers each year.
Terry Moore, host of Planet Haliburton on CanoeFM, The Haliburton Master Gardeners, and teen environmental activist Blake Parkinson were named this year’s heroes.
“It’s always a good feeling, to get recognized by other folks who recognize the impact human beings are having on the natural environment,” Moore said.
Moore, named an Enviro-Hero in the education category, is vice-president of Environment Haliburton! and his radio show features leading scientists and thought leaders who help shine light on pressing environmental issues.
One recent guest was Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist who’s been featured in more than 100 peer-reviewed studies and is the chief scientist in one of the world’s largest conservation non-profits.
Moore said he tries “finding ways and means of constructing environmental conversations in such a way that people can get inside of it, and then be a part of it and do something down the road themselves.”
The Haliburton County Master Gardeners were named Enviro-Heroes in the stewardship and education category.
“Certainly, we don’t expect recognition, but when we get it, it’s lovely because we’re all volunteers,” said Master Gardener Marilyn Whittaker.
Landowners often call the group’s volunteers for gardening tips or to book personalized consultations at their properties.
“Lately, we’ve found shoreline questions have risen to the forefront,” she said. “People want to know what can I do to keep it natural and yet make it look good?”
They also have PowerPoint presentations they send to property owners and they hold a plant sale each May, with a focus on plants suitable for Haliburton properties.
Parkinson, awarded an Enviro-Hero Youth Award, is a Grade 8 student who’s led beluga whale protection campaigns, a beach cleanup, and even a “Swim for the Sea” fundraiser at his grandparents’ Lake Kashagawigamog cottage for the Worldwide Wildlife Foundation.
Parkinson and his family created a video series in December on his Instagram page, Planet Protectors, showcasing environmentally-friendly holiday tips. He could not be reached for comment.
The HHLT said an in-person awards ceremony will be announced at a later date.