Dr. David McKenna Environmental Award

Dr. David McKenna, local resident, prominent businessman, and dedicated community volunteer, was keen to start a watershed group in Stratford along with (former) Mayor Kevin Jenkins in 2008. David organized public meetings and a working committee to get the watershed group started; the group was subsequently incorporated in 2009. David was the first President of SAWIG, and remained on board as part-president until his sudden passing in March of 2014.

David was a staunch supporter of the watershed group and environmental groups across the island. His dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the environment and his community helped shape the watershed group into the organization it is today.

We were delighted to rename the environmental award to the Dr. David McKenna Environmental Award to honor the memory and dedication of our friend and colleague.

The Dr. David McKenna Environmental Award recognizes those who have significantly contributed to the watershed throughout the year. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as: 

– planting of a significant number of Acadian Forest species within SAWIG’s boundaries

– helping with environmental education

– protecting and managing buffer zones 

– significant water or energy conservation

– diligence and dedication to the enhancement, restoration and protection of the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group’s region

SAWIG is proud to recognize those individuals, groups or businesses who help us with our ongoing task of protection, enhancement and education. The Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Environmental Award is given out at the Annual General Meeting each year.

Award Recipients

2023: Kaylee Busniuk

The 2023 recipient of the David McKenna award was presented to Kaylee Busniuk. Kaylee joined SAWIG as the Watershed Coordinator in the summer of 2021. At the time we'd had several coordinators come and go in short succession. 

Her impact was felt immediately as she helped implement early living shoreline projects, overhaul social media and internet presence, introduce a second full-time staff member, and greatly improve our financial stability.

Kaylee is the first former employee of SAWIG to receive the award, a fitting tribute for a person who went above and beyond for the group. SAWIG thanks Kaylee for all her hard work and for agreeing to join SAWIG in a new volunteer role as a director at large. 

2022: Carl and Irene Hamm and Family

The Hamm family have had a farm in Bunbury since the early 1800s. To this day, Mr. Hamm and his family have shown a keen interest in protecting the land and the shore line that surrounds part of their farm. Mr. Hamm has attended many SAWIG meetings and has been a member for many years. 

When SAWIG received a grant to do a Living Shoreline Project, Carl was eager to allow us to carry out the project on the shoreline that fronted his farm. 

SAWIG thanks Carl, Irene and their family for allowing us to do the project on their property's shoreline, for assisting during the project and for their donation to SAWIG's work. 

2021: Wilfred MacMillan

Wilfred MacMillan has contributed to the enhancement and restoration of the Fullerton's Creek riparian zone. His collaboration with SAWIG led to seven hundred native species being planted along Fullerton's Creek, a significant contribution to restoring natural habitat in our watershed that will be there for generations to come. 

2020: Denise Motard

Denise Motard was instrumental in the creation of the monarch garden and certified monarch waystation this year. She provided SAWIG with expertise in the planning stages and also provided her own milkweed plants for the garden. Her website and photographs have helped SAWIG and she assisted staff throughout the summer with weeding and monitoring the monarch life stages.  Denise also assisted in certifying the garden as a monarch waystation with Monarch Watch and provided a sign for the garden. 

2019: Jamie Rix

As a landowner, Jamie has partnered with us on an enhancement project on his property in 2018 and 2019. Jamie has helped us transport hay bales, plant trees, water trees and shrubs, and lent us his tools and equipment. This is a great example of how landowners and watershed groups can work together to achieve benefits for the environment.