Brampton’s Earth Day Celebration – A Warm Reception on a Cold Day

By: Rosemary Keenan, Sierra Club Peel Chapter Chair and David Laing, President, Brampton Environmental Alliance
Earth Day Activities

It was a brisk, enjoyable and energizing day at the first ever Grown Green Awards Celebration held at Norton Place Park this past Saturday April 23rd. Norton Place Park is a hidden gem in the heart of the City with a small lake beautifully surrounded by trees and trails. The Earth Day event was about celebrating the Brampton City’s and its residents contributions to a more environmentally friendly world.

A number of environmentally focused organizations were represented including, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Brampton Horticultural Society, People Against Littering, Human Impact Environment, Community Climate Council, Friends of Dorchester Park, Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, Heart Lake Happenings, and BikeBrampton/Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee.

City of Brampton Environmental Planning staff organized the event with help from the Brampton Environmental Alliance, with Sierra Club providing a waste sorting activity to ensure a zero waste event. There was lots to see and do including nature, rides, interpretive sessions and demonstrations. There were also free giveaways including a ‘Sure-close’ kitchen compost bin, and a prize pack given to the lucky winner of the scavenger hunt.

Other organizations came out to show their support including, Animal Services, Fire and Emergency Services and volunteers from the nearby Decathlon store. Brampton Transit brought one of their new electric buses. It proved to be a great hit, providing shelter from the wind and cold. Argo Development Corporation helped sponsor the event.

Earth Day Table Displays

Lynn Viau-Morin, a volunteer with the Brampton Horticultural Society was enthusiastic about the day. “We had a steady stream of visitors [to our booth] despite the weather”, she said . “The event was terrific. The scavenger hunt was a great idea.  We had some great exchanges with young people that otherwise probably wouldn’t have come to see us”.

When it came time to hand out the Grow Green awards, Michael Hoy from the City’s Environmental Planning Group was Master of Ceremonies and Councillor Whillans presented the awards to each recipient with Councillors Medeiros, Bowman and Fortini in attendance.

People Against Littering (P.A.L.S.), an enthusiastic crew working to clean up the city, were given the Group Stewardship Award. Stacey Wilson received the individual Stewardship Award for her work heading up Friends of Dorchester Park as well as her many other environmental contributions.

Akeem Gardiner, past Co-chair of the Brampton Environment Advisory Committee (BEAC) handed out the well-deserved youth award to Rajbalinder Ghatoura, current BEAC Co-chair and founder of the youth environmental organization Human Impact Environment.

We, Rosemary Keenan and David Laing, each received a Grow Green Environmental Legacy Award in recognition of our contributions over the past decade and more. We are both honoured and humbled to have received these awards and for the volunteer support from our respective organizations. Their help is essential to our work and accomplishments.

Grow Green Award Recipients

Kudos to Elise Mackie and Kristina Dokaska for spear-heading the implementation of this well-organized event! There were 16 ‘booths’ altogether, including a tasty, healthy and environmentally friendly free lunch station with wraps and fruit. A very big thankyou to all the volunteers who helped with the event and to the folks who braved the weather to attend. We know others were there in spirit!

It was great to get outdoors and meet up with everyone in-person.  Looking forward to next time!

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