October 15, 2015
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) presented the 2015 award for service to the environment to Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition.

The award is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario to recognize and encourage a special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. The contribution must emulate the fundamental principles of OALA and the OALA Mission Statement and go beyond the normal levels of community action in preserving, protecting or improving the environment.

Accepting the award was Paul Ronan, member of the Steering Committee, and Executive Director of Ontario Parks Association.

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition was founded in 2009 by Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), Janet McKay of Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), and Tony DiGiovanni of Landscape Ontario to promote the use of green technology as a way to work with the effects of climate change and improve the connection with the natural environment and ultimately better our physical and mental health.

By 2010, the Steering Committee had grown to seven members: Deborah Martin-Downs of The Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Paul Ronan of the Ontario Parks Association, David Stonehouse of Evergreen, Doris Chee of OALA, Charley Worte of Conservation Ontario, Faisal Moola of David Suzuki Foundation, Rob Keen of Forests Ontario, and Clifford Maynes of Green Communities Canada.

In presenting the award, OALA stated, “Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition is affecting policies and decision makers in both the public and private sectors for a more economical, sustainable and healthier benefits for our need of built infrastructure. Policy wins attributed to the work of GIO are seen in the recent acknowledgment of green infrastructure by the Province of Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing in its revised Provincial Policy Statement. This policy win, and a shift of momentum in favour of green infrastructure as a legitimate alternative to grey infrastructure can largely be attributed to GIO and its 2012 report: Health, Prosperity and Sustainability: The Case for Green Infrastructure in Ontario.”