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May 25: Environmental Awards to Youth...

Vancity Environmental Awards Recognize Contributions of Youth and Teachersc

Vancouver, May 25, 2000 - Vancity's 2000 Environmental Service Awards are presented to young people and teachers from Surrey, North Vancouver, and Richmond who have made outstanding positive contributions, through actions or words, to the environmental well-being of their communities.

"At Vancity, we are inspired by the many environmental projects -- pioneered by young people and educators -- that are helping to improve our air quality, protect our wildlife, and conserve our resources," said Vancity Chair Greg McDade. "The Environmental Service Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate the creative environmental contributions being made in our communities."

This year's awards go to the following individuals and groups:

  • Hall's Prairie elementary school, Surrey
    Vancity Youth Environmental Service Award (Group), Ages 8 - 12
  • Semiahmoo secondary school Recycling Project, Surrey
    Vancity Youth Environmental Service Award (Group), Ages 13 - 18
  • Jane Copeland, HJ Cambie secondary school, Richmond
    Vancity Youth Environmental Service Award (Individual), Ages 13 - 18
  • Gavin Hainsworth, North Surrey secondary school, Surrey
    Vancity Environmental Educator's Award (Individual Educator)
  • Maureen Linklater & Sheila Bensley, Semiahmoo secondary school, Surrey
    Vancity Environmental Educator's Award (Individual Educator)
  • Parents for Science Committee, Braemar elementary school, North Vancouver
    Vancity Environmental Educator's Award (Group)

The Vancity Environmental Service Awards were created in 1991 and are awarded annually to recognize and encourage youth and educators' efforts to preserve the natural environment and to effect positive change in people's actions and attitudes. The Youth Environmental Awards recognize the positive contributions that youth are making to the environmental well-being of our communities. The Environmental Educator's Awards recognize individuals and groups in the community who have increased our understanding of environmental concerns and solutions. Each award recipient receives a $300 recognition award, and a $300 donation is made to the environmental organization of the recipient's choice.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $6.4 billion in assets, 262,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

For more information contact:
Lesli Boldt
Public Affairs and Corporate Communications
Ph: (604) 877-7680


Youth Environmental Service Awards, Ages 8 - 12: Hall's Prairie elementary school in Surrey receives the award for its outstanding participation in more than 250 environmental projects. Some accomplishments include: the establishment of a butterfly garden, the planting of trees on school ground, running a composting and recycling program, and establishing a salmon enhancement program on the Little Campbell River. Students have also been involved in reducing energy consumption and fundraising to save endangered species.

Youth Environmental Service Awards, Ages 13 - 18: Jane Copeland of HJ Cambie secondary school in Richmond is this year's recipient in the individual category for her dedication to environmental education and community involvement. Copeland has been involved in the school's Environmental Club for four years and has initiated many of the club's activities, including the planning of a district-wide environmental conference. She has also volunteered her time with the Environmental Youth Corps, helping to create Richmond's first community garden, and has participated in the LIFEboat Flotilla program as an educator on sustainability.

The Semiahmoo secondary school Recycling Project in Surrey wins for an innovative waste reduction and recycling program which raises money for the school's garden project. The program is run by the special needs children in the school, who also take pride in promoting environmental awareness to all students.

Environmental Educator Awards: Gavin Hainsworth of North Surrey secondary school is a co-winner in the individual category. Hainsworth has spearheaded a wide variety of environmental projects both at his school and throughout the district in the areas of school ground naturalization, stream restoration and alternative transportation. He also writes environmental articles for the B.C. Teachers' Federation magazine and fundraises to help endangered species.

Maureen Linklater and Sheila Bensley of Semiahmoo secondary school in Surrey are also recipients in the individual category for their dedicated work on the creation of a school yard garden which has transformed a previously barren area into an extraordinarily beautiful learning environment filled with birds and butterflies. They have incorporated the planning, development, fundraising and maintenance of the garden into the school curriculum. School lunch scraps are composted and used in the garden, and the special needs class raises money for the garden by running a beverage container recycling program.

The Parents for Science Committee at Braemar elementary school in North Vancouver is this year's recipient in the group category. They have been instrumental in integrating the study of environmental issues into Braemar's school curriculum and engaging the students in local environmental projects. As well as organizing a lunchtime nature club, they have been involved in promoting a wide variety of environmental studies within the school in the areas of waste reduction, composting, stream-side restoration, fish habitat preservation and water quality.