Town presents 2020 Environmental Sustainability Award to Gary Skinn

November 13, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Orangeville resident Gary Skinn has been awarded the Town’s 2020 Environmental Sustainability Award. 

Typically handed out back in April as a part of Earth Week, this year’s awards were delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sustainable Orangeville, a sub-committee of the Town, usually accepts nominations for awards across various categories, however this year they’ve done things a little differently. 

This past Monday (Nov. 9), Coun. Grant Peters, who also serves as Chair of Sustainable Orangeville, noted the committee wanted to honour one “very deserving” individual after considering all nominations. While many may know Mr. Skinn for his ongoing work with the Orangeville Farmer’s Market, Coun. Peters stated it was his work with the Orangeville Community Garden and Orchard that made him a clear frontrunner for the award. 

“Gary was very fundamental in growing and maintaining the gardens along Centre Street, and expanding them into a (community garden that supports) the Orangeville Food Bank. He was the guy doing all the tilling before the Food Bank was able to hire someone to take over some of the manual labour work,” Coun. Peters said. “He has also been a big driver in the fruit and nut trees that have been planted around town, and has typically attended all of our tree planting events. He is very much an advocate for the local fresh and nutritious food movement.”

The Orangeville Community Garden and Orchard was opened back in 2013. Open to the community from the first Saturday in April to the last Saturday in October, individuals are able to rent their very own garden plot for gardening, or food-related purposes. It costs $20 annually to rent a garden plot, and $10 to rent an accessible plot with raised garden beds. Residents are encouraged to plant a wide variety of produce and floral plants in their plot. 

“The garden is used by people of all age groups. It provides a food source and promotes education, physical activity, outdoor activity and friendship,” a recent news release distributed by the Town reads. 

Coun. Peters continued with his praise of Mr. Skinn on Monday, saying he hoped to be able to present him with his award in person shortly.

He added, “I want to extend my gratitude to Gary for all he’s done for the community in the realm of sustainability. He has been a local food champion for years, and given countless hours of his time. He is a true asset to the community.”

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