OLTA Awards

Watch for the call for nominations for the 2018 awards next summer


The Ontario Land Trust Alliance Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the land trust movement and conservation in Ontario.

OLTA Vision Award

Volunteer Achievement and Professional Achievement

The OLTA Vision Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the land trust community at the local and/or provincial level in either a volunteer or a professional capacity.  Consideration will be given to nominees’ length and breadth of service; personal contributions to the success of specific initiatives; leadership or pioneering efforts in one or more areas; success in inspiring others; and enduring contributions to conservation.

OLTA Land Trust Award for Excellence

The OLTA Land Trust Award for Excellence recognizes land trusts who are raising the bar for excellence in conservation or community engagement. As the global conservation movement becomes more sophisticated and better-informed, land trusts are responding by increasing the sophistication of their conservation efforts, practices and operations. Community-based land trusts value and prioritize their connection to their local communities, and must continue to evolve and embrace the growing diversity of those communities.

The OLTA Land Trust Award for Excellence recognizes groups who have achieved excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Directly advanced the conservation of habitat and species on-the-ground.  This may involve the securement of a particularly significant property, or the implementation of a vital stewardship initiative.
  • Demonstrated significant progress in growing and improving their operations and practices.
  • Shown innovative approaches to engaging their local communities, and valuing diversity and inclusion in the operations and practices of their organization.

 

PAST OLTA AWARD WINNERS

2017 OLTA AWARDS

There were four recipients of the OLTA awards this year; Ian Attridge, Gord & Jane Ball and Peter Carson were recognized with the OLTA Vision Award; The Bruce Trail Conservancy was recognized with OLTA Land Trust Award for Excellence.

Ian Attridge has 16 years with the Kawartha Land Trust (KLT), wearing many different hats. During that time, Ian was also involved in the land trust community, volunteering with OLTA which continues today. He has been a mentor to many and inspired others to become involved in land conservation. He is now retired from KLT but continues to share his passion and remains active in the land trust community.

 

Gord and Jane Ball are founding members of The Couchiching Conservancy. Gord and Jane embody the culture that has made The Couchiching Conservancy successful and they stand as role models for the entire movement. Perhaps no other couple have given so much of their time, energy, leadership and resources to make the Conservancy what it is today. (Photo Credit: D. Hawke)

 

Peter Carson has been involved since the early days in the land trust community. He has been part of OLTA as Vice Chair and Governor. He has been a leading force with the Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) since it’s founding in 1996 and President for the past 10 years. There is no doubt the conservation movement has benefitted from his frankness and strength of opinions over the years, and for that we are grateful. (Peter received his award from Al Robinson (right)).

 

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has directly advanced the conservation of habitat, individual species on the Niagara Escarpment through their 10,000 acres of secured land. Successful fundraising campaigns and important relationship building allow the BTC to acquire the necessary funds to secure several key properties annually. BTC’s committed volunteers engage local landowners and build relationships so effectively that the BTC always has multiple securement projects happening at any given time. The BTC is truly a model of securement success for land trusts. (Award was accepted by Carl Alexander and Lynda Vera.)

 

2016 OLTA AWARDS

There were four awards: Joan Chalovich and Bruce McLellan were presented with the OLTA Vision Award; Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust and rare Charitable Research Reserve received the OLTA Land Trust Achievement Award.

joan

As a founding member of the Northumberland LT, Joan Chalovich was instrumental in the formation of the trust, including settings its land securement goals and contributing to the board in a number of roles over the last 10 years. Joan’s list of accomplishments and contributions is lengthy and for those, she receives the OLTA Vision Award.

 

 

 

bruce

Bruce McLellan has been an active volunteer and Board member of the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation since 2001. He has contributed greatly to LBHF and to the land trust community. Bruce is recognized with the OLTA Vision Award.

 

 

rare-award

 

OLTA Land Trust Achievement Award was presented to rare Charitable Research Reserve for their community outreach. Stephanie Sobek-Swant, Executive Director and Cheyanne Richardson, Community Stewardship Coordinator accepted the award.

 

 

 

mwlt-award

Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust was recognized for their community outreach with the OLTA Land Trust Achievement Award. The award was accepted by Barry Graham, President and Valerie Fieldwebster, Coordinator.

 

2015 OLTA AWARDS

There were three awards this year; Don Prince and Peter Welles were recognized with the OLTA Vision Award; the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust was recognized with the OLTA Land Trust Achievement Award.
Don Prince - award

Susan Walmer, Executive Director, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust presented the award to Don Prince for his many accomplishments over more than fifty years in the land trust community.

 

 

 

Peter Welles - award

Tanna Elliott accepted for Peter Welles as Peter was unable to attend. Peter received his OLTA Vision Award at The Kensington Conservancy Christmas party. Peter was among the founders of The Kensington Conservancy and continues to be the TKC champion as well as contributing to land conservation in the US.

 

 

 

 

HHLTThe OLTA Land Trust Achievement Award was presented to the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. Sheila Ziman and Paul Heaven accepted this award on behalf of HHLT for their excellent work in developing the “Turtle Road Mortality Mitigation Project”  which is an excellent demonstration of their commitment to community engagement and stewardship.

 

 

 

2013 OLTA AWARDS

From left to right: Tanna Elliott, Chair, OLTA Governors; Chris Baines, Awards Committee; Carolyn Wallis accepting on behalf of Phyllis Callaghan; Jack Miller; Mary Vandenhoff; Valerie Fieldswebster accepting on behalf of Dexter Coolidge; Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director.

From left to right: Tanna Elliott, Chair, OLTA Governors; Chris Baines, Awards Committee; Carolyn Wallis accepting on behalf of Phyllis Callaghan; Jack Miller; Mary Vandenhoff; Valerie Fieldswebster accepting on behalf of Dexter Coolidge; Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director.

 

2012 OLTA AWARDS

This year, in recognition of OLTA’s 10th anniversary or incorporation and the 2012 Gathering theme of Looking Back – Moving Forward, OLTA honoured long-standing land trust leaders.

From left to right: Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director; Frank Shaw, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Susan Walmer, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Patricia Short-Gallé, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Ron Reid, Couchiching Conservancy; Judy and Lou Probst; Tanna Elliott, Chair, OLTA Governors.

From left to right: Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director; Frank Shaw, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Susan Walmer, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Patricia Short-Gallé, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust; Ron Reid, Couchiching Conservancy; Judy and Lou Probst; Tanna Elliott, Chair, OLTA Governors.

 

OLTA PIONEERING LEADERS

Individuals Category – Lou and Judy Probst

Photo Credit: David Hawke

Photo Credit: David Hawke

Lou and Judy Probst have been active volunteers for the Couchiching Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy of Canada for over 20 years. They are instrumental in the conservation of significant natural lands on the Carden Plain. Through their careful planning and generosity, they have ensured that future generations of nature lovers will be able to enjoy the natural wonders of the area.

As part of their living legacies they have participated in the ongoing conservation in Carden Township with the following:

– Donation of Conservation easement, 100 acres
– Donation of McGee Creek and Cranberry Wetland to Nature Conservancy of Canada, 489 acres
– Donation of Prospect Marsh to Couchiching Conservancy (in process), 200 acres
– Donation of Carden Conservation Fund

 

Individual Category – Ron Reid

ron reid awardRon Reid has made outstanding contributions to biodiversity protection, community engagement, and innovative approaches to advancing the land trust movement in Ontario. Not only has Ron been instrumental in developing creative fundraising projects for the Couchiching Conservancy, Ron has been a guiding mentor and leader in helping new land trusts in Ontario. Ron co-authored “Creative Conservation”, a handbook of key ideas and building blocks for land trusts in Ontario. Ron also has a natural ability to collaborate with a number of organizations outside of the land trust community to strengthen and build the conservation movement.

 

Organization Category – Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust

ormlt award at 2012 olta gatheringThe Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) has an outstanding protected land portfolio of 37 properties, totaling 3,317 acres. In 2010, the ORMLT set a land trust record with 26 conservation easements. The ORMLT has pioneered the highly effective use of conservation easements on private land, a model which motivates and mentors other land trusts to pursue their land protection goals with proven tools. To learn more about the ORMLT, visit http://www.oakridgesmoraine.org/

 

 


2011 OLTA AWARDS

From left to right: Chris Baines, Chair of OLTA Awards Committee; Sarah Hodgkiss accepting on behalf of Don Gordon; Anne Robertson; Tanna Elliot, Chair, OLTA Board of Governors; Bob Barnett, Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy; Bruce Mackenzie, Ontario Farmland Trust; Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director. Photo Credit: Simon Lunn

From left to right: Chris Baines, Chair of OLTA Awards Committee; Sarah Hodgkiss accepting on behalf of Don Gordon;
Anne Robertson; Tanna Elliot, Chair, OLTA Board of Governors; Bob Barnett, Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy;
Bruce Mackenzie, Ontario Farmland Trust; Thea Silver, OLTA Executive Director. Photo Credit: Simon Lunn

 

OLTA LAND TRUST ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2011

Community Achievement Category- Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC)
The EBC has made enormous contributions to the land trust movement in size and scope of properties protected along the Niagara Escarpment. In thirteen years since their inception, EBC has protected a total of 8,151 acres through the creation of 102 nature reserves.

Provincial Achievement Category- Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT)
The Ontario Farmland Trust has made a substantial contribution to the broader land trust movement. The OFT has created a unique approach in the protection of farmland that extends beyond traditional conservation approaches. The OFT’s programs and conservation work is exemplary in bringing food and farming issues to the forefront.

OLTA VISION AWARD 2011

Professional Category- Don Gordon
Don Gordon’s leadership and unique skills in conservation led to the development of the Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT). As TTLT’s first Executive Director, Mr. Gordon displayed exceptional qualities both as a leader and a visionary within the land trust movement.

Volunteer Category- Anne Robertson
Anne Robertson redefines what it means to be a volunteer. Anne played a vital role in the founding of the Land Conservancy of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (LCKFLA). Her inspirational leadership and dedication helped spearhead countless achievements in land protection and nature education.


OLTA LAND TRUST ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2010

Award GBLT

Georgian Bay Land Trust (GBLT)

GBLT is an exemplary land trust demonstrating the power of partnerships in their community. They steward more than 2,000 acres of land trust properties, partner properties and other areas along the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and the North Channel.

Pictured (L to R): Ron Reid, Chair OLTA Awards committee; Wendy Cooper, GBLT Executive Director: Brooks Greer, GBLT Land Protection Program Manager; Peter Cooper, GBLT Fundraising Chair

 

 

 

OLTA VISION AWARD 2010 – VOLUNTEER

Award RossMarnie and Don Ross

Don and Marnie Ross have both demonstrated outstanding contributions to conservation and land protection in southeastern Ontario.

Pictured (L to R): Ron Reid, Marnie Ross, Don Ross

 

 

 

 

OLTA VISION AWARD 2010 – SUPPORTING ORGANIZATION

Award QUBSQueen’s University Biological Station

Raleigh Robertson, Frank Phelan and Bruce Tufts have demonstrated outstanding contributions in influencing the evolution of the land trust movement in eastern Ontario, and in protecting the landscape of the Rideau Lakes and the Frontenac Arch.

Pictured (L to R): Ron Reid, Raleigh Robertson, Frank Phelan

 

 

 


 

OLTA’s VISION AWARD 2009

OLTA’s Vision Award is given to an individual or organization who has displayed extraordinary vision and exemplary leadership. This year there were two winners of the OLTA Vision Award – Tom Atkins and Ric Symmes.

Tom AtkinsPictured L to R: Christopher Baines, OLTA Gathering Committee and Tom Atkins

Tom has guided the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust since its inception in 2000. Using Stew Hilt’s “Creative Conservation” Tom guided a group of volunteers to become an organization with staff, volunteers and conservation partners throughout the GTA.

 

 

 

 

 

Ric SymmesPictured L to R: Christopher Baines, OLTA Gathering Committee and Ric Symmes

Since joining the conservation field in the mid 1990’s, Ric’s commitment to fostering lasting partnerships, working for policy change and applying a strategic approach to conservation have resulted in great successes for conservation organizations and landowners alike in Ontario.

 

 


OLTA’s COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD 2008

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn recognition of the enormous passion and dedication of the land trust movement, OLTA ‘s COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Award recognized the extraordinary achievements of Couchiching Conservancy. Highlights include:
– a series of community workshops involving quarry owners and ranchers.
– a partnership with the Orillia Packet and Times who print Couchiching’s full newsletter four times a year.
– a corporate membership program involving 80 local businesses

Couchiching has taken a challenge – being in a smaller community with more finite resources and fewer larger funders, and turned it into an opportunity in connecting so broadly and at such an intimate level.

Pictured L to R – April Weppler, OLTA Board Chair (Toronto), Ron Reid, Executive Director, Gayle Carlyle, Chair Kyra Howes, Isabelle Thiess, Jane Ball, all Couchiching Conservancy of Orillia.

 

OLTA’s VISION AWARD 2008

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLTA’S Vision award is given to an individual or organization who has displayed extraordinary vision and exemplary leadership. The first award recipient is ahead of the curve in identifying challenges and opportunities, and works hard to develop solutions. Our first OLTA Vision Award recipient Stew Hilts was also the first Chair of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and “wrote the book” on land trusts, Creative Conservation. Stew is a Professor at the University of Guelph, where he is also the Director of the Centre for Land and Water Stewardship. Most recently, Stew has been working to save Ontario’s best places to grow food as Chair of Ontario Farmland Trust.

Pictured L to R – Melissa Watkins, Executive Director, Ontario Farmland Trust, April Weppler, Chair, OLTA, Stew Hilts (Guelph)