As April 22 approaches, Earth Day Canada is calling out for a new Earth Day Hometown Hero.
The charity is looking for environmental leaders who have achieved results on the frontlines of the environmental movement, people they call the “unsung heroes” who will inspire others to go green.
The winner of the Hometown Heroes Award receives $10 000 — $5 000 to keep and $5 000 to donate to the environmental cause of their choice.
Last year’s Hometown Hero was David Donnelly, a Toronto lawyer who has provided counsel to some of Canada’s leading charitable organizations, including Environmental Defence, the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, and the Green Gravel Coalition.
Donnelly led the fight to stop urban sprawl surrounding Lake Simcoe, which threatens the health of the watershed. In the spring of 2007 David represented the Innisfil District Association in its campaign to oppose the development of a proposed 2,000 unit resort, championship golf course and marina.
While national organizations (like Nature Canada) help bring about lasting, systemic change by fighting for strong environmental laws, real change can also happen on a small scale in communities across the country. Contests like this one shine a much deserved light on those individuals who are leading by example.