OPIRG McMaster project long-time volunteer wins EOY award of Merit – Congrats Dean!

The dirt (soil) on Peter Rice

Cootes champion is environmentalist of the year

<!– PUBLISH DATE TimeSincePublished(“2009-05-11-04:30:00″,”2009-05-11″,”May. 11, 2009”);–> , The Hamilton Spectator, (May 11, 2009)

Hamilton’s environmentalist of the year is Peter Rice, retired assistant director of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

He will receive the Dr. Victor Cecilioni Environmentalist of the Year Award for 2008 at a dinner June 3.

Awards of merit will go to Dean Carriere, for his involvement in the Recycle Cycles volunteer bike repair shop; engineer and environmentalist Peter Ormond; community organizer and educator Julia Kollek and to Cathedral High School’s Eco Team, which helped Cathedral become the Catholic board’s only provincially certified Eco School.

Rice’s daughter Sarah, who nominated him, said he has been involved in environmental activities all his life — 70 years this month.

“I have reason to believe he was born with hiking boots on, covered in dirt (or soil as my dad would correct me) and with binoculars around his neck.”

He has served as president of the Ontario Shade Tree Council, as a director of the Bay Area Restoration Council and been a long-time member of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, among other organizations.

Rice was one of the founders of Project Paradise, the RBG’s effort to restore the Cootes Paradise marsh, and an early supporter of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, especially efforts to protect and expand wildlife habitat. The 30th annual Environmentalists of the Year Awards Dinner will be held June 3, in the middle of Canadian Environment Week, at the Michelangelo Banquet Centre.

Tickets at $30 are available in Burlington at the Royal Botanical Gardens gift shop, in east Hamilton by calling Environment Hamilton at 905-549-0900 or e-mailing contactus@environmenthamilton.org and in the west end by calling 905-648-3391.