Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award
Bob Whittam is a biologist and an avid naturalist who is well known in the Severn Sound area. He has been instrumental in ensuring the continued success and presence in our community of the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. One of Bob’s many accomplishments was his work in facilitating the public involvement program of the Severn Sound Remedial Action Plan (RAP). He was Public Advisory Committee Chair for many years through the development of the RAP.
Bob Whittam Award Recipients
In 2000 the Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award was started in order to honour Bob by recognizing those individuals or groups who are dedicated and truly interested in improving the Severn Sound ecosystem. All nominations are reviewed by Bob. The Bob Whittam Environmental Award was first awarded by Bob Whittam and SSEA in 2000 to Fran Westman. Other Bob Whittam Award Recipients include Brian Jones (2001), Margaret Killing (2002), Peter Dupuis (2003), Sara Knight (2004), Dr. Si Lowry (2005), Bob Bowles (2006), Stephen Ogden (2007), André Claire (2008), Huronia Woodland Owners Association (2009), Andy Fletcher (2010), John Boucher (2011), Wendy and Jeff Bumstead (2012), Bill Sweenie (2013), Peter Andrews (2014), Terry Breckenridge (2015), Lynn Short (2016) and Pat Woodford (2017).
2017 Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award
The 2017 recipient of the Bob Whittam Environmental Award is
Pat is a retired science teacher having taught chemistry, biology and environmental science. She is an avid naturalist and was president of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club.
Pat is the chair of the ecology and sustainability committee of the Copeland Forest Friends Association. In this capacity, she has led the committee's involvement in water testing in the critical headwater streams in the Copeland Forest. She has recruited volunteers, planned the observation sites and testing, engaged her volunteers in training, and partnered with the Orillia Fish and Game Cons Club, Couchiching Conservancy and SSEA.
This initiative is a model of how to engage citizens in science and monitoring of the environment. This project is also significant in the SSEA region as two of the three rivers flowing out of the Copeland Forest are headwater rivers in the Severn Sound.
Message from Bob Whittam:
"I first met Pat Woodford on a Friday night in downtown Port Rowan or just outside at nearby Long Point in May 1968. She and her husband Jim were volunteer bird banders for the Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO).
The Observatory was located at the tip of Long Point on Lake Erie. As the Warden of the station, on Friday nights I would drive an old Land Rover into town to pick up the volunteers who would assist with a variety of tasks from fixing the roof to banding birds. The drive along the Long Point beaches and dunes was an adventure.
A few years before, Pat had banded the first bird Long Point, a Song Sparrow. Just last year the one millionth bird, also a Song Sparrow was handed at the station. Pat was a key player in the establishment of the Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) and the Ontario Bird Banding Association (OBBA).
After a year at Long Point I visited Pat and Jim at their house in Toronto where there was always a menagerie of natural history highlighted by their pet rabbit, Thumper.
Pat was an early proponent and mentor for many volunteers who today we call Citizen Scientists. It is so wonderful to see that Pat s still training Citizen Scientists with stream water monitoring, sampling and testing as chair of the ecology and sustainability committee of the Copeland Forest Friends Association. Two rivers flow out of Copeland Forest into Severn Sound.
I am very proud that this award goes to Pat Woodford.
Please download the
Nomination Form if you would like to nominate a person or group for the 2017 Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental award.