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Conservationist of the Year

Partner Appreciation Evening

Conservationist of the Year Award; Years of Service Awards

Each year, Ausable Bayfield Conservation hosts a Partner Appreciation Evening and Conservationist of the Year Award event to say 'thank you' forthe work you do to protect water, soil, and habitat for living things in your watershed community.

The 2020 Partner Appreciation Evening, and Conservationist of the Year Award evening, is scheduled for Thursday, March 20, 2020 - date to be confirmed.

Thanks to the 70 people who attended the Partner Appreciation Evening celebration on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Ironwood Golf Club • 70969 Morrison Line, 2 km east of Exeter.

To attend the 2020 Partner Appreciation Evening, please contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Download poster of 2019 event:

Each March, Ausable Bayfield Conservation honours a community individual or group as the Conservationist of the Year at the Annual Awards Evening.

Long-serving directors and staff are also honoured.

Here is a draft agenda for the evening:

  • 5 p.m. – Social Time
  • 5:30 p.m. – Light Supper
  • 6 p.m. – Partner Appreciation Evening and Conservation Awards

Conservationist of the Year Award

 Ausable Bayfield Conservation Board and Staff Service Awards

  • 6:40 p.m. – Feature Presentation

Please RSVP to Sharon Pavkeje at for meal numbers a week in advance of the event.

Phone: 519-235-2610 • 1-888-286-2610 • Facsimile: 519-235-1963 • E-mail: or visit our staff contacts page.

If you have special dietary needs, please let us know in advance. Thank you.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation has presented the Conservationist of the Year Award for more than 35 years - since 1984.

Past winners include rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. Each winner is a business, farm, organization, or person residing in the watershed or having done conservation work there.

For the award winner, Ausable Bayfield Conservation presents an award and makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.

Conservationist of the Year Award


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation annually presents:

The Conservationist of the Year Award

Nominate a person, farm, business, or group for the Conservationist of the Year Award.

Thank you for having submitted so many wonderful nominations this year!

We had many worthy candidates for this award in 2019 and the judging panel had a difficult job but selected very deserving winners - Koos and Nathalie Vermue, of the Bayfield area.

For rules and nomination form download the form now at this link: Nomination Form

We thank you for all the nominations you have made.

What is the Conservationist of the Year Award?


The following information is subject to change. Please see the most current PDF file for full information. Individuals, organizations or companies who either reside in, or have completed conservation work within, the area of jurisdiction of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), are eligible to win the Conservationist of the Year award. Current ABCA staff members and directors are excluded.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation will make a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods sites maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, since 1984, with the annual presentation of an award to the Conservationist of the Year.

The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years that have shown long-term benefits for the natural environment and society.

Examples of conservation work that protects soil, water, and living things, include:

  • Improving local water quality
  • Conservation farming
  • Reforestation
  • Environmental education
  • Providing wildlife and fish habitat
  • Promoting environmental awareness and action
  • Previous award winners

Conservationist of the Year award winners in the past include:

  • Koos and Nathalie Vermue
  • Rick Quinn and Diane Hawthorne and their family
  • Mels and Ruthanne van der Laan, of Cold Stream Ranch
  • Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group
  • Cordner Farms - Jane Sadler Richards and Doug Richards
  • Bob Norris
  • Peter Darbishire
  • Joan and John Love
  • Ann and Bill Phelan
  • Exeter Lions Club
  • Patricia Down* and Robert Down
  • Lorne Teeple *
  • Grand Bend Community Foundation
  • Stewardson Dairy
  • Boys' and Girls' Club, London (Middlesex ECO Crew)
  • Shadyside Farms, Paul and Vic Hodgins
  • Ray Letheren, Friends of the Bayfield River
  • Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Lambton Shores
  • Andy deBoer
  • Stephanie Donaldson
  • Everet and Joan Van Sligtenhorst
  • John MacPherson
  • Straw Family
  • George Cantrick*
  • David McClure
  • Brian Arnold
  • Fred Dobbs
  • Lions Club of Arkona
  • Village of Arkona
  • Township of Hibbert
  • Stephen Bright
  • Dinney Funeral Home
  • Huron Fish and Game Club
  • Garry Palmateer
  • Lions Club of Clinton
  • Bluewater Recycling Association
  • Andrew Dixon
  • Ralph and Eleanor Smith
  • Elmer Trick
  • Armstrong East Cottage Association
  • Lambton Wildlife Inc.
  • David Ball
  • Adelaide Township
  • Arnold Westlaken
  • Tuckersmith Township
  • Van Loon Farms
  • Village of Hensall
  • Bob Montgomery
  • Jim Reeve
  • DEL Farms
  • Bud Walker
  • Bert and Margaret Daynard
  • Ausable Anglers Club
  • Carfrey Cann
  • Keith Connelly
  • John Deeves
  • Nancy Glendinning
  • Hayter Turkey Farms
  • Peter Rombouts
  • Bill Thirlwall
  • Ausable Nomads
  • Dearing Farms
  • Huron Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Murray and Ron McRae
  • Huron Board of Education
  • Thomas Doherty
  • Huron Centennial School
  • Jerry Giesen
  • Claybird Gun Club
  • Wayne Woods
  • Bayfield Anglers Association
  • Jay Campbell

* Asterisk denotes that the award was given posthumously.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation presents:

Conservationist of the Year Award

Nomination Form

I wish to nominate the following nominee:

Name of nominee:

Contact name (if nominee is organization or business) :

Their address:

Postal code:


E-mail (optional):

This nomination is being submitted by:

Your name:



Postal code:

E-mail (optional):

Tell us why this person or organization is deserving in 250 words or less:

The award will be presented at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Annual Evening to be held in March.

Please send nomination forms by deadline attention to:

Tim Cumming, Communications Specialist,
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), 71108 Morrison Line,
RR 3 Exeter, ON N0M 1S5 at

Phone: 519-235-2610 Toll-free: 1-888-286-2610 Facsimile: 519.235.1963

Decision of judging panel is final.