“The LSRCA on October 27th included
the MLRA in its list of winners for
the ecologically prestigious
WaterShed Heroes Awards.”
By Charlene Jones
Participating in our annual Earth Day Clean-Up, many people shuffle onto Cedar Beach and our greater Musselman’s Lake shoreline, early on a designated spring morning, poking, shifting, moving, lifting and waking up the waters and roads from winter’s snooze. These folks have no idea they are heroes.
The LSRCA on October 27th included the MLRA in its list of winners for the ecologically prestigious WaterShed Heroes Awards. The environmental equivalent to the Oscar’s, this year’s ceremony marked the 30th year of awards to community groups and individuals who, like our annual migrators to Cedar Beach, get up, get out and give back.
The Watershed of course covers the water that flows in and out of Lake Simcoe, our largest wet neighbor, and a giant of biological impact.
Marsden Gardens and Greenhouses provided the perfect setting, with decorative lights peeking from vines draped skillfully across wooden ceiling bolsters, indoor trees, and a large fountain whose tinkling splash provided a background of sound as clear and soothing as any four piece orchestra. This internal environment demonstrated the beauty and bounty possible when human awareness integrates with nature’s gifts.
Councillor Phil Bannon put forth the MLRA as a candidate for a Watershed Heroes Award and along with Councillor Ken Fernandez, presented a lovely sculpture to Rick Wigmore, President of MLRA, Jane Grinnel, Vice-President, and Charlene Jones, Co-Chairperson Fisheries Committee. These representatives accepted the award on behalf of the many who offer so generously every year of their time and resources, toward cleaning our lake.
Janet Davies of Cedar Beach was on hand to snap a few photos to preserve the moment. Ms. Davies’ generosity toward the MLRA constantly provides our organization with place and resources for our activities. We continue to be deeply indebted to her and her family for their generosity.
Many organizations, from the spiritual retreat center Loretto Mary Holme, located at the south tip of Lake Simcoe, to Highland Gate Golf Club, received awards for their efforts toward sustainable water use. Categories of Awards extended beyond water to include Soil Conservation Awards, Education Awards, the Ernie Crossland Young Conservationist Award, even Media Recognition Award.
One Tuan Yeap received a Conservation Award of Merit for donating 25 acres of land just outside of Uxbridge, for nature trails and hiking, in perpetuity to the LSRCA. The land will now be husbanded for future generations, providing a healthy portion of nature’s own balance to our fragile Oak Ridges Moraine. Now that’s generosity!
Among the many people who came forward to accept their awards, the young conservationist Jeff Howard, whose list of volunteer activities on behalf of conservation roused a standing ovation from the audience, deserves special mention.
From an elderly gentleman who confessed to over forty years of active participation as a conservationist, to a group of teenagers called the Newmarket Team: Ontario Stewardship Rangers, the common bond of care about and concern for our natural environment resonated cross generationally, cross gender, cross ethnic divides to unite us as one community.
The spread of that community is impressive: from Six Finger Lakes, to Lake Couchiching, to our own Musselman’s Lake, the single uniting theme resounds: clean up the mess, help nature restore her balance, and whether we receive awards or not, we are all winners.
Proof of the positive effect we are having lies in front of our eyes. This year the lake waters have retained a crystal clear quality not seen for decades. Crayfish, another signal of a healthy balance is returning, appeared this summer after more than twenty years of no-show, and most convincingly, that sound, between a hand-saw and a bull horn, announced the presence of frogs!
Thanks to all the residents who make the effort every year to volunteer their time, resources and ability to bend and lift! You are truly Watershed Heroes! This LSRCA Award belongs to you in recognition of and appreciation for all your hard work!
We look forward to seeing you again, in April, at our next successful Earth Day Clean-Up.