2016 Environmental Sustainability Awards presented Monday night

April 21, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Several members of the Orangeville community were recipients of the Town’s seventh annual sustainability awards this week. The presentations were made at Orangeville Council Monday night by Councillor Sylvia Bradley who chairs the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT).

The awards are presented by Town Council on an annual basis to recognize those who have made a positive environmental contribution to the community. The 2016 Environmental Sustainability Award recipients are:

• usiness – As We Grow

Started in 1981, As We Grow has operated in Orangeville for 34 years. Owner Janice Gooding has made her mark with this sustainable business. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse is the everyday philosophy of As We Grow. The consignment store gives new life to gently-used family clothing, sports and dance items, children’s books, toys and games.

For the past three years, As We Grow has stopped buying plastic shopping bags and instead relies on plastic bags donated by clients. The reuse of the bags extends their life and reduces waste.

As We Grow has worked with several organizations (Family Transition Place, Choices Youth Shelter, Hospice Dufferin, and local churches) to provide clothing for clients. This has enabled  the agencies to provide dignity to their clients without incurring high costs.

Along with their neighbour, Physio Plus, the business has started a “Free Stuff Saturday” program which gives away items to clients and again reduces materials going to landfill.

For the past five years, unsold goods have been sent to Eastern Europe and Africa. This has diverted 125,000 tons of materials from the waste stream and provides essentials to those in need.

As We Grow has made a significant impact on our community by providing affordable merchandise, extending the life of that merchandise, and helping those in need.  The business has been part of a cultural shift that makes it okay to shop at reuse stores.

• roup – Orangeville Optimist Club

The Orangeville Optimist Club, whose mission is Friend of Youth, has been active in Orangeville for 43 years.

In 1975, the Optimist Club founded the Bike Rodeo which encourages children to ride bikes and teaches bike safety including the safe use of helmets. This popular event has been offered to the public for 41 years and encourages active transportation and family activity.

For the past 23 years, the Optimist Club has provided the Town of Orangeville with Christmas in the Park at Kay Cee Gardens. Over the years, the Optimist Club has converted all their Christmas lights to LEDs resulting in a significant reduction of electricity use and longer life for the lights.

The Optimist Club founded the Jackrabbit program to teach cross country skiing skills to youngsters. Approximately 3,000 students have gone through the program in the past 30 years and for many this opportunity led to a lifelong love of the sport and for some it has led to national and international competitions.

The Optimist Club also hosted the popular Maple Syrup Festival for 22 years.

Many members have also been Cubs and Scout leaders teaching children basic survivor skills.

The Optimist Club has demonstrated a long-time commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles and sustainability.

• ndividual – Ted Zarudny

Ted Zarudny is a community champion when it comes to Communities in Bloom.

He has been a horticultural mainstay for many years, both in Orangeville as a business owner of Dufferin Garden Centre, along with wife Donna, for 18 years, and as a horticulturist with the City of Brampton for 32 years.

Ted is a founding member of Orangeville Communities in Bloom and has worked with schools, clubs, the public and the Town to enter Orangeville into the competition, garnering four blooms out of five in last year’s first entry.  Ted has been a national and international judge for nine years for Communities in Bloom — judging communities on environmental awareness, tidiness, heritage preservation, landscape (both natural and manmade), forestry, floral and community involvement — and making recommendations for improvement.

Ted has been a great supporter of the community and has personally contributed to many causes and events in Town including tree planting, building gardens, and youth education.

Ted is also a member of the Amaranth Lions Club and has been involved in minor hockey.

• Youth – Chris Bria

Last year, the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team and community partners doubled the size of the Community Garden to accommodate a Food Bank Garden. Doubling the garden meant doubling the work. That’s when Chris stepped in to assist the volunteer gardener to plant, weed, mulch and harvest the Food Bank Garden at the Centre Street location as well as at the Dufferin Garden Centre location.

Chris’s contribution resulted in a significant amount of fresh, organic produce for clients as well as ensuring future food production. A Grade 12 student at Robert F. Hall Secondary School, Chris has obtained some life skills serving as a volunteer at the garden – and he has given back to his community

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