2013 Environmental Award Winners 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kevin Brandt, Chair, Environmental Policy Advisory Committee 
Phone: 519-754-4157 

The City of Brantford’s Environmental Policy Advisory Committee reviewed nominations and is pleased to announce this year’s winners of the City of Brantford Environmental Recognition Award. Reuben DeBoer is this year’s recipient in the youth leadership category and Doris Myke receives the award in the adult leadership category.

Reuben DeBoer: Youth Leadership
2013 City of Brantford Environmental Recognition Award

Reuben DeBoer spearheaded many sustainability initiatives while a student at Laurier Brantford. He was the founding coordinator of the EcoHawks, a student environmental committee, as well as the Associate Vice President: Services for the student union. Reuben oversaw both the implementation of an organic waste and composting program, and the installation of water bottle refill stations. He also helped launch the ‘250,000 Sheets’ campaign, which asked that professors switch to an online syllabus, therefore saving paper and reducing WLU’s ecological footprint. Reuben ensured that an annual five-dollar sustainability fee be collected from Laurier Brantford students (rather than just students from the Waterloo campus), and that the funds were used to create initiatives that promote environmental awareness at both campuses. This EcoFee raises about $30,000 a year for the Sustainability Office. 

On hearing that he was selected for this year’s Youth Leadership award, Rueben said, “to be recognized for something that you are passionate about is always an honour. I have been advocating for sustainability initiatives for a long time now and it can sometimes be a thankless effort.”

He added, “Brantford is experiencing some exciting changes right now and I believe this award will bring forward more initiatives to make this city an even greater place.”

Reuben will be beginning his Master’s in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo this year. His work has helped to conserve the local environment and to raise awareness about environmental concerns within Laurier Brantford. He significantly improved Laurier Brantford’s sustainability in a permanent way, as many of the initiatives begun by Reuben continue today. 

Doris Myke: Adult Leadership
2013 City of Brantford Environmental Recognition Award

Doris has been working to improve the local environment both through activities at the Brant Rod and Gun Club and volunteering at various environmental events in Brantford. One of these events is the Grand River Environmental Festival – a clean up event of the riverside at Brant’s Crossing. Other activities Doris is involved with include helping with the local fish hatchery, tree planting activities, watershed renewal and helping out with Earth Week events. She has been active since the 1970s in helping with renewing and conserving the natural environment in Brantford/Brant.

This past March, Doris was instrumental in organizing the first ECO event at the Rod and Gun Club, with speakers and activities that highlighted the great work of other environmentalists like Chuck Beach, Tom Sitak, and provincial and Six Nations representatives. The headline in the Expositor called this event an “outstanding success.” There are plans to make this an annual event with more speakers and a line-up of environmental awareness activities. 

At the Rod and Gun Club Doris acts not only as a leader but as an environmental conscience to other leaders and is often “bugging people to do the right thing.” She is also known for getting members to take an active role in restoring the environment around Whiteman’s Creek. This creek has direct impact on the quality of water in the Grand River, the source of Brantford’s drinking water. 

Doris believes that environmental effectiveness comes from advocacy, teamwork and awareness. She is accepting this award not only for herself, but on behalf of the many people and organizations she’s worked with in the past.

Information about the Award

The winners of this year’s inaugural City of Brantford Environmental Recognition Awards will receive certificates from the City, congratulating them on their leadership roles in conservation, repairing and raising awareness of our local natural environment. Trees will be planted in Rueben DeBoer’s and Doris Myke’s honour. 

Leadership is the theme of the 2013 Environmental Recognition Award. Future awards will have more categories, such as green businesses, green organizations, and green families. 

Click for more information about the awards.