2017 Award Winners

Individual Environmental Achievement
Winona Pugh 

Winona received the award in honour of her leadership and participation in community environmental stewardship and education initiatives.  At her home and in the community, she has worked to promote sustainability and the protection of natural areas and aquatic ecosystems, including as an active member of the Friends of Tod Creek Watershed.  Winona is tireless as she continues to inspire and share with others: leading tours of natural areas, aquatic plant surveys, invasive species removal and community events as well as promoting environmental stewardship through writing and as an artist.

Volunteer Organization
Greater Victoria Green Team 

The Greater Victoria Green Team was honoured for its achievements in coordinating an environmental volunteer program helping to restore local ecosystems.  Founded August 2014, the Greater Victoria Green Team now has over 1,500 members and has since that time engaged 2,500 volunteers with up to 4 to 6 events per month in the CRD, including in Saanich Parks and natural areas.  As a coordinating organization, volunteers are provided the opportunity to learn about and experience natural areas and stewardship in the region through planting native species, invasive plant removal and shoreline cleanup.

Mike Geric Construction Ltd. 

Mike Geric Construction Ltd received this award to honour their achievements developing sustainable multifamily homes in Saanich.  With a mission to leave a lasting legacy of responsible development, the latest projects of Mike Geric Construction have included features such as preserving and restoring natural spaces, providing community gardens and walking trails, using building materials with longer lifespan, solar assisted hot water, transportation alternatives including electric vehicle charging stations, 100% on-site rainwater treatment and recycling of building materials. The Geric Family aim to lead and inspire green building in the region. 

Ocean Han 

Ocean Han was honoured for his achievements in Garry Oak ecosystem restoration and leadership in student research projects.  Since Grade 7, Ocean has been a very active volunteer with Garry oak ecosystem and invasive plant projects in Saanich and Victoria.  Ocean is a leader for the Mt. Douglas Secondary Environment Club and provided significant leadership for a major Grade 10 Science team project studying effectiveness of invasive plant treatment methods and native plant regrowth. We look forward to many more years of Ocean’s leadership.

Biodiversity Conservation
Beckwith Park Pulling Together Volunteer Team 

The Beckwith Park Pulling Together Volunteer Team was honoured for their achievements in restoring sensitive Garry Oak and riparian ecosystems at Beckwith Park.  Under the leadership of Eylin Gilbart and Don Mills, this team has made significant strides in restoring ecosystems at Beckwith Park with their work including developing restoration plans, supporting ecological research, engaging neighbours, acquiring grants, installing nest boxes, removing a “stunning” volume of invasive plants and hosting school and University groups. Beckwith Park is now described as an “island of nature much loved by neighbours”.

Natalie & David Chambers 

Natalie and David Chambers were honoured for their achievements in promoting local food security, organic food growing, habitat and soil preservation.  After inheriting Madrona Farm in the Blenkinsop Valley from David’s family, they worked with the Land Conservancy to preserve the farm. These and other efforts raise awareness of sustainably grown food, including hosting the annual Chef’s Survival Challenge. Through their farm practices and community involvement, they continue to advocate for and provide a sustainable example of organic and local food production hand in hand with ecological stewardship.

Long Term Achievement
Vic Derman 

The award for Long Term Achievement was provided posthumously in honour of Vic Derman’s long-term leadership in environmental stewardship and advocacy for climate change action.  Vic’s earlier legacies included being a founding Director and Vice President of the Land Conservancy of British Columbia and President of the North Quadra Community Association where he fought for the preservation of Christmas Hill.  From 2002 he served five terms on Saanich Council where his work included efforts to improve Saanich’s pedestrian and cycling network. In 2004, Vic initiated and chaired the international conference “Water in the City”. Vic Derman passed away earlier this year but will be remembered as an environmental champion who fought tirelessly for the natural environment and climate. His legacy is an inspiration for all Saanich residents.

Summary of Past Winners

Environmental Award Winners 2000-2017