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Sidney’s Bob Peart wins top national conservation award

Nature Canada represents 30,000 members and more than 1,000 nature organizations
Bob Peart holds up his 2022 Douglas H. Pimlott Award, which he received from Nature Canada for his work. The bird on the award depicts an Ookpik, a snowy owl transforming into a seal. The Ookpik has the status of a transformation creation among the peoples of the High Arctic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

A local environmentalist has won a top national conservation award.

Bob Peart of the Friends of Shoal Harbour Society last week received the 2022 Douglas H. Pimlott Award from Nature Canada, one of the oldest national nature conservation charities in Canada. First formed as the Audubon Society of Canada in 1948, the organization evolved into the Canadian Nature Federation in 1971 before assuming its current name in 2004. It currently represents more than 130,000 members and more than 1,000 nature organizations, including naturalist clubs across the country.

The award bears the name of Douglas H. Pimlott, whom many consider the founder of the modern environmental movement in Canada, and Nature Canada considers the award its highest honour.

Previous award winners include Robert Bateman, Margaret Atwood and the late David Schindler, a leading scientist of climate change for his generation.

“The award is indeed an honour,” said Peart in a statement to Black Press Media. “What I appreciate about the award too is that it is as much for my volunteer work as my professional work. I think it is really important to recognize people for their volunteer work.”

In a release, Graham Saul, executive director of Nature Canada, praised Peart’s personal commitment to preserving nature during a career spanning 50 years.

“Bob is one of those people who seem to embody everything we’re trying to achieve in the conservation movement,” said Saul. “He’s spent his life helping defend, discover, and restore nature and we’re proud to honour him.”

Peart has previously received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the J.B. Harkin Conservation Medal for his work.

“We believe his incredible life’s work and legacy deserve to be honoured with Nature Canada’s most prestigious conservation award, the Douglas H. Pimlott Award,” added Saul.

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Peart’s professional career included a variety of roles with the federal and provincial governments. He also served as the executive director of the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C., the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Sierra Club of B.C. Peart has also done private consulting with his two companies I.L.E. Consulting and the Nexus Learning Group.

Peart also chaired Nature Canada from 2017 to 2020 as part of his volunteer activities. He also volunteered with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, the Grasslands Conservation Council of B.C., the Friends of Shoal Harbour Society, the Elders Council for Parks in B.C., the Fraser Basin Council and The Land Conservancy of British Columbia.

A special focus of Peart’s conservation work has been his role in reconnecting children and families with nature. He founded and chaired the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. He also served on the board of NatureKids B.C. and as a strategic advisor to the Cheakamus Centre-North Vancouver Outdoor School. Peart was also a senior associate with the Children and Nature Network in the United States.

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Flanked by Nature Canada executive director Graham Saul and chair Sabine Dietz, local environmentalist Bob Peart received 2022 Douglas H. Pimlott Award last week. (Submitted)

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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