The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui presented its third annual Abbotsford AELAEnvironmental Leadership Awards on Friday, March 7th.

A banquet honouring the nominees and award recipients was held at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre.

This years event recognized 27 individuals, businesses and organizations for providing environmental leadership right here in our community.

The nominees and recipients, in no particular order, were as follows:


Lepp Farm Market

Sumas Mountain Farms

Taves Family Farms – Applebarn

2014 Agri-Links Award goes to Taves Family Farms – Applebarn.

Taves Family Farms’ Applebarn traces its roots back to Loren’s grandfather who purchased his first land in the 1930’s. Loren’s parents established Taves Family Farms in 1969. After graduating from high school, Loren started growing gooseberries and then apple varieties unique to coastal climates. This was followed by growing red and black currants and later artisan peppers and several varieties of tomatoes. Loren and his wife, Corrine, decided to start the Applebarn in 1990 to provide an agri-tourism experience that was educational and fun for families. It offers farm entertainment in the form of a Corn Quest Maze, hay rides, pony rides, and educational elements such as the Apple Cider Mill and Beehive Observatory that has been used by elementary school teachers.

Congratulations on being at the forefront of sustainability! 

Taves Family Farms


Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc.

Windset Farms

2014 Water Saver Award goes to Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc.

Ecotex Healthcare Linen Services is an Abbotsford-based, privately owned, commercial laundry business that began providing contract laundry services to Riverview Hospital in the 1970’s. Now, with operations in the western United States and Canada, they employ more than 400 people. The business is by its nature “green” with reusable textile products and best practices such as the recycling of water, recapturing of heat and overall efficiency of energy use.  Over the past ten years Ecotex has invested aggressively in state-of-the-art technology and implemented new systems to reduce the volume of fresh water used in their laundering process. 

At the Abbotsford linen processing facility their team developed proprietary systems and applied new technology including their unique press-water reuse system, which has allowed them to reduce water usage by more than 52% from their 2004 levels.  In the past 5 years the location saved 270 Million Litres of water – the equivalent of 120 Olympic sized swimming pools, or 616 million bottles of drinking water.

Ecotex is a North American leader in environmental stewardship, dedicated to sustainability and setting a high standard for others to follow.

Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service


Bent Nail New & Preowned Building Supplies

Eco Kids Care

Fraser Valley Biogas

Growoya Plant Irrigation Ltd.


Net Zero Waste

Salon 77

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

2014 Green Product or Service Award goes to Fraser Valley Biogas.Bob Simpson

Fraser Valley Biogas. Heppell’s Potato Corporation has been growing potatoes in the FraserValley since 1920, but they’ve recently found a new way to put waste from their operations to good use. They operate Fraser Valley Biogas, an anaerobic digester in Abbotsford that captures biogas from agricultural waste such as culled potatoes and vegetables, and animal manure from other farms. In anaerobic digestion, bacteria break down organic waste in the absence of oxygen, releasing biogas. The biogas can be upgraded to pipeline-quality biomethane (also called renewable natural gas) and transported safely to our community by FortisBC.

In addition, the anaerobic digestion process produces a high quality fertilizer used by farmers to grow local crops. The process changes the composition of nutrients to allow a more readily available take-up of nutrients by crops. The higher take-up of nutrients improves crop quality, improves efficiency and reduces leeching into groundwater and aquifers that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.

Incredible things happening right here in our backyard.

Fraser Valley Biogas


Sponsored by: Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc.

Beautiworld Development Corp

Best Western PLUS Regency Inn & Conference Centre

Fraserglen Golf Course

KPD Consulting Ltd.

Madrone Environmental Services

Magnum Trailer & Equipment Inc.

2014 Green Project Award goes to KPD Consulting Ltd.

KPD Consulting Ltd / Manure Systems Inc. One thing Abbotsford (and our neighbours) has in abundance is manure. So, a locally based firm who has been developing equipment for manure management has come up with a solution.  Manure Systems Inc is the designer of the Trident Manure Separator, the Arid Bedding System and Trident Nutrient Technologies, all important steps to turn manure, which can be a major polluter, into a dried, innocuous version of the original stinky, stuff. Dewatering, fiber separation drying of manure is an excellent means to manage an age old problem.  These processes and pieces of equipment are effective in minimizing the manure issue and the end result, a bedding material for the very animals that produced the manure in the first place.

Thanks KPD Consulting Ltd for successfully tackling a worldwide problem.

KPD Consulting Ltd.


Abbotsford Community Garden Society

Fraser Valley Gleaners Society

Habitat for Humanity

2014 Community/Grassroots Award goes to Abbotsford Community Garden Society.

Abbotsford Community Garden Society. The objective of the CommunityGarden is to create space for people to learn about and participate in their own food supply. Planning, planting, helping it grow and reaping the benefits of their labour.  Since 2008, the CommunityGarden, located on City of Abbotsford property on Delaire Road, has been offering a simple and straightforward concept – provide a small patch of fertile soil, a bit of knowledge and some simple tools, to grow a productive garden. With 150 organic gardening plots, this community initiative, developed and run by volunteers, can be used by any city resident, regardless of age, ethnic background, or gardening experience.

Thank you for bringing a little piece of farming into our lives! 

Abbotsford Community Garden


Anmol Mahil

The Green Leader of Tomorrow Award is granted to an individual or team of youth up to the age of 21 demonstrating commitment to environmental awareness and outreach. This year the AELA Committee chose to expand the age criteria for this category to recognize a young person doing noteworthy things in our community.

This year’s recipient has built an exemplary resume in a fairly short timeframe. He has shown that the younger generation can teach us a little bit about saving the environment. He sits as a director on the BC Young Farmer’s Association, has held the post as student representative for the University of the FraserValley’s Trades and Technology Faculty Council and is a past President of the Agriculture Student Association at the University. 

This individual has been farming in Abbotsford since the day he started walking under the guidance and mentorship of his family. He continued his education at University of the FraserValley learning new, innovative, sustainably green technologies that he could implement into his family’s farm pushing him to better his farming practices while paying attention to the bottom line.  He assisted his family with the installation of a new, efficient water management system that over the years has reduced the farm’s water usage and costs by more than 30%.

Keep in mind that this individual is only 25 years old.


Sponsored by: Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Laurie Kremsater

Patricia Ross

Lisa Sullivan

John Vissers

2014 Green Leader Award goes to Patricia Ross.

Patricia Ross, a councillor for the City of Abbotsford since 1994, has made sustainability the cornerstone of her philosophy towards life, business and public service. For many years she has been a voice to raise the profile of the environment and social concerns within our community. Seeing a need she started a recycling business in the early 1990’s and later worked with the Abbotsford Community Services Recycling Program to develop and implement a Waste Reduction Education program for Abbotsford Schools. A leader for the city on the successful fight to stop the polluting SE2 power plant from being built she is currently working hard to fight the proposed garbage incinerator in Metro Vancouver. A graduate of the Rockefeller Institute -Leadership for Environmental and Development International – Patricia now acts as a trainer for the program. In 2004 she spoke at the International Climate Change Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Patricia is an established leader and advocate for environmental issues in our community.

Patricia Ross

Congratulations to all of the 2014 Abbotsford Environmental Leadership Awards nominees and recipients.

A special thank you to the dedicated individuals who participated on our 2014 Judging Team.