AAH Volunteer Recognition Awards

On September 21, volunteers and supporters of the AAH program gathered in Truro to pay tribute to their peers who have gone “above and beyond” with their road side cleanups.  This event was in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Divert NS (formerly known as RRFB Nova Scotia).   Awards were presented in a total of nine  categories.

We had a great turnout for our luncheon!

Based on 2016 Spring Cleanup (Top three)

Because this is the 20th Anniversary of Divert NS, we decided to honour groups that did well this year.  We recognized the largest group, smallest group, and the most litter collected by a group for the Spring Cleanup season for 2016.

LARGEST GROUP-

We all know that getting volunteers out is getting harder all of the time, so we thought we would congratulate the group that had the greatest success with getting people to help out.

Mount Uniacke Cleanup Party-This group joined in the Spring of 2013, and is truly a community effort.  They have adopted a 12 km route through the Mt. Uniacke and Lakeland area. On their first cleanup a dumpster was provided for the cleanup, and the report from the municipality indicated that 2.75 tonnes of garbage was collected- too many bags to count!. They usually have 30-35 volunteer help out, and this year had 55 community members take part!  We have had members of this community call the office to pass along their thanks to the group for their cleanup efforts. They appreciate the contribution of  Miller Waste for the dumpsters, and their local Volunteer Fire Department who drive safety vehicles during their clean up and provide them with a venue to meet and coordinate our events.

Mount Uniacke Cleanup Party representatives Cyril MacDonald and Shelley Smith with AAH Committee Co-Chair Ellen Simpson.

SMALLEST GROUP

Our groups range from a several members to just one person!

Earth Day Friends – Helen MacDonald joined our program as Earth Day Friends back in 2000, and usually does an organized Spring Cleanup near Earth Day on April 22nd. She also picks up litter during her regular walks along the scenic Sand Point Road, and Brule Shore Road near Tatamagouche. Sometimes she does have help, but many years she does her cleanup alone, spending most of the day on the project. She complimented the Tatamagouche TIR depot and says they are a great a help. She had done her cleanups in all sorts of weather, sometimes having snow, rain, and sun in the same day. She usually donated the proceeds from her recyclables to a local cause, such as the school, or community hall.  This year, Helen did her cleanup on her own, the smallest group for 2016.

Ellen, Helen MacDonald, Gina Bain AAH Program Coordinator

MOST LITTER COLLECTED

Lake Echo Lions Club –This is another cleanup that is a a community effort. They work with other groups in the area such as boaters group, watershed group, baseball teams, seniors group, and community members.  For the past 2 years they have collected about 100 bags of garbage and in 2014 had about 150 bags. They joined our program in 1998. This year they collected 100 bags of garbage, for the most litter collected in 2016.  shown at left accepting the awarde are Ron Girard, Allan Currie, Catherine Girard, Ellen, Kipper Summers, and Gina.

Members of the Lake Echo Lions

HISTORICAL RECORDS

When looking at our records through the years,  we truly appreciated the efforts of our volunteers. There are many groups that have been participating for a number of years, and have picked up a huge amount of litter from our roadsides.   The final decision was very difficult as all groups in each category have made significant contribution to improving the appearance of their communities.  We gave our nominated groups a certificate marking their achievements, as well as presenting a trophy to the winners.

We are very appreciative that our volunteers choose to support our program. There are lots of things and many community activities vying for their time, and we are glad that they choose to do the highway cleanups.  Our volunteers really are amazing. They sometimes carry on in less than ideal conditions to complete their litter pickups along their routes and interchanges.

LONGEST SERVING

It was difficult to determine which group had joined our program first, because of incomplete records. All of these groups were part of the Pilot project for the AAH program back in 1994, and were worthy of special recognition for being part of our program for 22 years or more!

 Bridgetown Lions Club– They have a great record and have done a cleanup almost every Spring and/or Fall since joining. They usually have the local cadet group help them out. They have adopted Highway #1 from Bridgetown to Paradise.

Eric & Joyce Higgins – They clean the Higginsville Road,  which is near Middle Musquodoboit.   They have committed themselves to clean their roads all during the year during their regular walks. They always take along a bag and pick up the litter as it appears.

Port Williams Lions Club & Women’s Institute –They clean Highway #358  from Greenwich Corner to the Cunard River. They also have a great record and have a done a Cleanup every year since joining; only postponing due to adverse weather or construction in the area. They do a great job of getting the word out about the program and usually have an article in the paper about the cleanup. They are encouraged lately, as they are finding less litter during their cleanups than in previous years. They usually involve local youth groups as well, such as the Scouts or school groups.  Our official launch of the program was held in Port Williams back in 1997.

Woodville Community Centre This group has done a Spring Cleanup every year since joining, and a Fall Cleanup as well on occasion.  They clean Hwy #221 and Bligh Road.  At times they send out a garbage bag to the various households in their community, along with their newsletter. They suggest that people clean the roadside in front of and next to their property.  They can drop the collected litter and the community centre, but many put it out with their household garbage.

Shown below are  Ernie Hovell, Ruth Blenkhorn, Eldon Smith (Port Williams Lions & WI) Ellen, Marion Newcombe (Port Williams), Len MacDonald, Dick Campbell (Bridgetown Lions), Alice vanHattam (Woodville Community), Coni Murray,  Co-Chair AAH Committee, and Alanna McPhee (accepting for Eric & Joyce Higgins).

MOST CONSISTENT GROUP                                                                    

Coastal Cruisers Auto Club  – Coastal Cruisers are a group of car enthusiasts in the Bridgewater area. They clean Highway #331 in Petite Rivière. They joined in the year 2000 and have a almost every Spring and Fall since then!

Hill n’ Dale 4-H Club – Hill n’ Dale 4-H club also joined in 2000 and have a perfect record, having done a Spring & Fall Cleanup every year since then! They make the cleanup fun, and the members enjoy looking for unusual finds during the event. They involve the younger members of the club (under 12) by having them help prepare the lunch for after the cleanup. They have picked up almost 700 bags of litter along their route in Wileville,  Highway #325.

White Point Beach Resort  – White Point joined our program back in 1999 and has also carried out a cleanup almost every season since then. They clean the 8.5 km section of White Point Beach Road and Hwy #3.  They are very dedicated, and even did their Fall cleanup shortly after their devastating fire in 2011!

Shown below are : Front Row: Judy Wile, Sharon Hubley and Taylor Rhuland with Hill n’ Dale 4-H. Back row: Wilson Methven, Jeff Whynot, Kent Jodrey and Robert Sullivan with Coastal Cruisers.

Members of Hill n' Dale 4-H and Coastal Cruisers

Members of Hill n’ Dale 4-H and Coastal Cruisers

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY BASED GROUP                                                 

Great Village Community School / Friends of the Community- They joined in 2001 and adopted Hwy #2 from Glenhome to Great Village, and many connecting roads in the community as well.  Over the years they have had more volunteers participating, and more area covered.  When all their cleanups have been considered, they have picked up over 1000 bags of litter. Many years they would get over 100 bags of garbage on their Spring Cleanup. 
Hub Campers- They adopted  Stewiacke Road in Lanesville in 1999 They also have great record and have done a cleanup almost every Spring and Fall since joining. They always have a lunch afterwards, and lately have invited the Community Outreach constable of local RCMP. They have done their cleanup in all sorts of weather, and usually do not let a little rain hold them back.

North Shore Volunteer Fire Department–  This is truly another amazing community cleanup. They cover a 35 – 40 km route from St. Georges Point to Cribbons Point to Malignant Cove along the scenic Hwy #337 -North Shore area near Antigonish.  Some years they have over 40 -60 volunteers and collect more than 200-300 bags of litter and 40-50 bags of recyclables. They involve many communities in the area, The also have collected well over 1000 bags of trash, even though they have only been involved in program for about 8 years. 

Shown are Connie Smith and Gertie Miller from Great Village;  Ronnie Veinot and Les Oliver from Hub Campers and Coni Murray.

Members of Friends of Great Village and Hub Campers

Members of Friends of Great Village and Hub Campers

OUTSTANDING YOUTH GROUP (TIE)                                                              

250 Vimy Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron- They have adopted St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Hwy #3 in the Tantallon area. This group Joined in 2012 but have done great things since then. They have done a cleanup almost every season. They have an abundant turnout – usually about 30 volunteers and have picked up almost 400 bags of litter in their short time in the program.

Gospel Light Baptist Church / St. Paul’s Church & Spryfield Scouting –  These are two groups that have their own routes, that are adjoining, but usually co-ordinate their cleanup so they are done one weekend after another. They each only have a 3 km route, but routinely collect about 100 bags of litter. That is one full bag every 30 metres, or 100 feet! Joined in 2007 and the Scouts have done a cleanup every Spring since then, with Gospel Light doing a cleanup every Spring and Fall.

Salt Springs 4-H Club – This 4-H club joined in 1998 and have adopted Hwy #4 in Salt Springs, Pictou County. They usually have a good turnout of members and families, and this Spring had one of their best turnouts yet- with 41 helpers showing up which is very encouraging! They have found many unusual items over the years, including a letter that won them the Litter Sweep contest n 2004 (Contest for the most unusual find in Spring Cleanup). Their members found an envelope with informal pictures of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his boys. It was addressed to a location in France, with a Halifax return address. They contacted the owner and turned out that she had her purse stolen on the way to the post office.  Some how the pictures ended up in the ditch along their route! They have had almost 500 volunteers take part during the 21 cleanups, collecting over 900 bags of litter.

Shown are Bonnie Peterson, Betty Lou Scott (Salt Springs 4-H,) Judy & Hank Bird (Gospel Light/ Spryfield Scouts), Coni, Ellen, and Todd Garber, 250 Vimy Cadets.

 MOST HELPFUL TIR STAFF

We rely on the help of the staff at the TIR depots around the province for their help with our volunteer groups. There are too many supportive personnel to mention here, but these are some that our groups have let us know about.

Sharon Hubley – Hebbville.  Sharon works at the Bridgewater depot which has the highest number of AAH groups in the province. Sharon values the work and efforts volunteers and has improved the system to make things easier for them. She has made up self contained kits, so that everything that the group needs is all in one place.  Sharon is also a volunteer with the Hill n’ Dale 4-H Club so is out there in the ditches picking up litter as well!

Jerry MacDonnell- Milford –  Highway #2 in the Milford- Elmsdale -Enfield area is one of those great situations where almost 20 kilometres of road is adopted by 4 different groups. Where one route stops, another one starts. There are also groups in the surrounding area which have adjoining routes as well. We have heard great things from all groups in the area about Jerry, and how helpful he is with their cleanup arrangements and sign requests.                                                                                                          

Mike MacPherson- Antigonish– We have received many compliments about Mike’s assistance from our groups in the Antigonish area, and he has been supportive of our many groups there.

John Mercer- Beechville – Beechville also has a large number of groups working out of their depot, as it serves the Metro area. John has been very accommodating during the Spring cleanup season, as there are some very large community cleanups in their area.

Shown are Jerry, Mike, Coni, Sharon, and Ellen

Shown are Jerry, Mike, Coni, Sharon, and Ellen

OUTSTANDING SERVICE GROUP

This was the most difficult category to pick a winner in because of course, we have a number of service groups in our program.  That is what they do-serve their community. The Lions Club was one of our founding members, so in turn, many of our original groups were Lions.  We also have many Rotary Clubs, Kinsmen Clubs and Fire Departments that help out as well.  We appreciate that they all choose to have the AAH program as one of their projects.

Antigonish Lions Club – They joined in 1998 and have done a Spring Cleanup every year since then. They usually involve a youth group in the area and since joining have picked up almost 1500 bags of litter and have clocked over 1200 volunteer hours. They have adopted Highway #7 from the Trans-Canada south for 5 kilometres, which is a very scenic road.

Musquodoboit Harbour Lions Club-  This Lions Club joined in 1998 and also have done a Spring Cleanup for many years. Their membership was getting older, so they withdrew from the program, but they were fortunate enough to get some new members, so quickly rejoined again.  They collect a substantial amount of litter along Highway #7 in Musquodoboit Harbour, and over the years have picked up over 800 bags of litter.

Truro Lions Club-  Joined in 2002 have done a cleanup almost every Spring and Fall since then. Recently they have gotten help from Truro Scouts and Venturers. Their section of  adopted Highway #311 is in North River, outside Truro. They have  picked up over 700 bags of litter.

Shown are Coni, Joyce Gero (Truro Lions) Paul Tomlick, Harlan MacLeod, Donald MacLellan, (Antigonish Lions), and Ellen

Members of the Truro Lions Club, and Antigonish Lions Club

Members of the Truro Lions Club, and Antigonish Lions Club

 

We were thrilled to have Silver Donald Cameron, renowned author and environmentalist  as our guest speaker. He gave a inspiring talk highlighting  his new book- Warrior Lawyers, (Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth), and documentary film (GreenRights: the Human Right to a Healthy World).  Shown here are the Awards planning committee with our special guest: Darcey MacBain, Dept. of TIR, (also our emcee), Gina Bain,  Silver Donald Cameron,  and Coni Murray.

Awards planning committee with Silver Donald Cameron

Volunteer Recognition Awards planning committee with Silver Donald Cameron.