2015 Event and Awards

In order to recognize the numerous sustainable achievements of its partners, Sustainable Peterborough  was proud to announce the launch of the Sustainable Peterborough Partnership Recognition Awards.  There were eleven winners, one in each of Sustainable Peterborough’s theme areas, and three honourable mentions.   Awards were presented during the Sustainable Peterborough Partnership Recognition Awards and Climate Change Action Plan Launch Event on March 1, 2016 at Market Hall. The Winners were as follows:

Agriculture and Local Food

Elmhirst’s Resort – winner

Elmhirst’s Resort is committed to sustainability and displays a strong “living off of the land” mentality. They strongly believe in providing customers with the freshest food and produce harvested directly from 240 acres of their land. They provide customers with a seasonal menu that features hydroponic garden herbs and preserved heirloom tomatoes in the winter, locally bred and raised cattle and duck, and 100% local grape wines, among other items. Elmhirst’s strive to involve local farmers and producers from the surrounding community in their food production processes as much as possible.

By the Bushel Community Food Co-operative – honourable mention

By the Bushel Community Food Co-operative is an innovative co-operative. Small-scale food producers and processors, dedicated staff and a community of consumers work together toward rebuilding our relationship to the land, healthy, sustainable, ecologically-responsible food and community. In 2015, their 13 growers were operating within 100 kms.

Climate Change

For Our Grandchildren (4RG) – winner

For Our Grandchildren (4RG) actively encourages younger generations to become more engaged participants in a greener community and climate change issues. In November 2015, 4RG collaborated with other local organizations to host a community meeting supporting the Global Climate March and the COP21 conference being held at the same time in Paris. The meeting encouraged community members to consider decisive actions to reduce the production of carbon emissions that are contributing to climate change. Citizens who attended the event were encouraged to take part in a post card writing campaign to be delivered to six political leaders at all levels of government.

Cultural Assets

Lang Pioneer Village – winner

Lang Pioneer Village serves to protect and promote the rural history of Peterborough County. The museum has become a regional leader in the preservation and interpretation of our cultural assets. In 2015, Lang partnered with Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations to establish the Aabnaabin First Nations site at the museum. Lang also completed a shoreline naturalization project in partnership with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, Tree Canada and Siemens Canada. They planted 272 trees and shrubs. Species included shellbark hickory, hazelnut, chestnut, elderberry and chokecherry which were used by early settlers for food, furniture, shelter, and dyes. Collectively, these projects provide great opportunities for future programs.

Economic Development & Employment

Transition Town Peterborough – winner

The focus of Transition Town Peterborough is on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while increasing local resilience and self-sufficiency with economic localization. In an effort to build the local economy, they introduced the local currency called Kawartha Loons. In collaboration with other community organizations, Transition Town Peterborough runs several successful annual events that bring together the community, food growers and producers, local artisans, entertainers and health practitioners in order to build and support the local economy. In 2015, Transition Town Peterborough, in collaboration with Farms at Work, successfully spearheaded the initiative to declare September as Local Food Month in an effort to bring awareness to local food providers and strengthen the local economy.


Township of Douro-Dummer – winner

The Township of Douro-Dummer has consistently been a leader in municipal energy management. It was the first municipality to implement an energy management plan and strategy. They have retrofitted their facilities for energy efficiency and, in 2015, completed the conversion to LED streetlights. Their energy efficiency improvements have resulted in cost savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The Township of Douro-Dummer continues to lead by example.

Healthy Communities

Camp Kawartha – winner

Camp Kawartha has been involved in numerous innovative stewardship initiatives over the past decade. Reaching over 11,000 participants per year, the camp teaches children, youth and adults about sustainable living, habitat protection and environmental responsibility. New in 2015, the Camp offered 5 one-week environment camps and two weeks of kindercamp at the Environment Centre. This resulted in an additional 250 campers learning about nature, sustainability and stewardship. Thanks to a grant from the Gainey Foundation and a crowd source funding campaign, new nature playscapes structures were designed and constructed at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre in 2015.

Seeds for Justice, a Kawartha World Issues Centre Youth Program – honourable mention

Seeds for Justice is a youth-led program that brings youth together around common interests and projects, with a focus on empowerment to affect individual lives and local communities while building a culture of volunteerism and global citizenship. In 2015 over 300 youth had an opportunity to build confidence, knowledge, skills and experience.

Land Use Planning

Otonabee Region Conservation Authority – winner

In 2015, the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) updated the Watershed Planning and Regulation Policy Manual. The updated manual resulted in a document that is easy to understand and to use. It consolidates all of ORCA’s watershed planning and regulatory policies. This document also provides municipalities, applicants and their agents, private landowners, special interest groups and ORCA staff with a clear understanding of ORCA’s role, mandate, responsibilities and requirements regarding permit and planning applications. At the same time, it offers an updated, comprehensive and complete set of watershed planning and regulatory policies that can be incorporated into Official Plans and Zoning By-laws.

Natural Assets

Kawartha Land Trust – winner

Kawartha Land Trust is dedicated to protecting the forests, fields, wetlands and shorelines of the Kawarthas. Boyd Island, a 1,170 acre island, is the largest undeveloped and unprotected island in Southern Ontario. It is home to unspoiled wetlands, old-growth forests, wildlife and a wide variety of plant species. It has rich historic, natural and cultural value to the region, as well as to the indigenous community which can trace back use of the island some 10,000 years. To ensure the island’s protection, Kawartha Land Trust urged the community to achieve a fundraising goal of $1,000,000 in 2015. Nearly 600 pledges were received to accomplish the goal of preventing private development on the island. Now preserved and protected, the island will remain a great natural asset for many generations to come.


Peterborough County/City Paramedics – winner

In 2015 Peterborough County/City Paramedics have demonstrated leadership in sustainable transportation initiatives by implementing the ECO-run system in vehicles to reduce idling time. The ECO-run system enabled them to reduce excessive idling time by 26%, thereby saving 1,918 litres of fuel, 8,717 pounds of CO2 and amounting to a cost savings of nearly $2,500.


The Food Forest – winner

The Food Forest Café’s produces less than 1 bag of garbage per week! Since the restaurant is plant-based, they are able to compost 100% of leftover food and scraps. In 2015 they expanded their composting program by donating nearly 90 gallons of kitchen scraps per week to local farmers and gardeners, including St. Peter’s Secondary School for their garden.
Furthermore, the Food Forest is able to compost all paper products, since they exclusively use unbleached biodegradable paper products and napkins. In renovating their new downtown location in 2015, they re-used and re-purposed pre-existing materials. They continue to encourage customers to bring their own takeout containers or charge a small fee for biodegradable containers.

Holy Cross Secondary School – honourable mention

In 2015 Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School earned a Platinum level certification from Ontario EcoSchools. In partnership with Calvary Church, the school maintains a community garden that has helped the school reduce their amount of green waste, as cafeteria and garden green waste is being repurposed and used in the form of compost.


GreenUP – winner

In 2015, GreenUP ran the Depave Paradise project with support from Green Communities Canada, RBC Blue Water Project, Sammy and Sons Ltd, the City of Peterborough, other local organizations and volunteers. In the parking lot of Wireless Solutions over 250m2 of asphalt were removed and a large rain garden with 730 native plants and trees was planted. The project aids in storm water management and water quality improvement by allowing 178,000 liters of water per year to be diverted from the grey stormwater infrastructure by soaking into the ground and naturally removing 23kg of contaminants annually. Depave Paradise is helping to reduce risks of flooding while creating habitat, green space and building community.