Friends of the Tay Watershed Association
|P.O. Box 2065
57 Foster Street
The sixth annual Tay Watershed Discovery Evening attracted its largest crowd ever, in Perth on October 18, with a featured speaker from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, plus environmental awards to four local and provincial organizations, a major environmental exhibition and celebrity auction..
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In the evening’s keynote address, speaker Paula Sherman, Co-Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Assistance Professor at Trent University, presented the Algonquin perspective on a people’s relationship with the land and its resources. Ms. Sherman led an attentive audience through the principles that have guided the Algonquins’ approach to water, forests and wildlife. With their focus on sustainability and a readiness to stand up for these principles, Ms. Sherman explained how a belief in them brought the Ardoch First Nation to join the protest against uranium exploration and mining in Frontenac. Paula Sherman is a leader in that protest.
As this was the first of a new presentation series titled “Perspectives on Water”, the Friends of the Tay Watershed Association felt it appropriate that it be kicked off with the views of the First Nations. Watch this newspaper for a notice of the next presentation in this series, which will unfold over the coming winter.
The Watershed Evening also provided the venue for an announcement of the Association’s 2007 Environmental Awards. The first award, for ‘Contribution to the Tay Watershed’, was received by Kent Novakowski of the Civil Engineering Department of Queens University for their innovative ‘Tay Watershed Groundwater Research Project’ – an eight-year study that is producing valuable new information on groundwater and contaminant movement in Canadian Shield rock formations.
The second award, for its “Contribution to Water Resources at the Provincial or Higher Level”, was received by Gordon Munroe on behalf of the “Ontario Environmental Farm Program”, a rural environment protection program so successful that it has been adopted by other provinces.
The Association’s third award, which is presented for “Contributions to the General Environment” that have an important impact on water resources, was received by Mary Loucks, on behalf of Bedford Mining Alert and Wendy Hassard, for the Citizens Mining Advisory Group – two organizations leading the approach to the Ontario Government to update the archaic Mining Act.
The presentation portion of the evening received a rousing opening by Perth’s Town Crier, Brent McLaren1, who also enthusiastically called the event’s first ‘celebrity auction’. The auction was a great success, thanks to Brent’s exuberant auctioneering talent, the generosity of the donors - artist Aili Kurtis, Perth Home Furniture, and Blair and Son Home Furnishings, engraver Franc Van Oort, potter Rita Redner and Food Gifts of Westport – and all of the successful bidders.
The exhibition section of the evening, also now in its sixth year, featured over 30 organisations - the largest and widest range ever. Non-profit, government and commercial organizations presented informative exhibits on such diverse watershed and environmental topics as wetland protection, mining, farm and residential well and septic programs, municipal government activities, lake planning, water research, wildlife, dowsing, and trail development.
The Tay Watershed Evening was supported by a number of local and regional organizations including the Town of Perth, the Community Stewardship Council for Lanark County, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Federation of Ontario Cottage Owners.