2015-01-22_1227The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui presented the fourth annual Abbotsford Environmental Leadership Awards on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

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

This years event recognized 37 individuals, businesses and organizations for providing environmental leadership right here in our community.

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



Abbotsford boasts many different types of farms, ranging from dairy, poultry and livestock farms to berry and vegetable farms. Abbotsford is the center of BC’s agriculture with regional and provincial agriculture industries and services.  Building the connections between consumers and local food producers and adopting sustainable farming practices are important contributors to sustainable communities.

The nominee finalists for the Agri-Links category are…

Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm & Meadery

Tanglebank Gardens

Mt. Lehman Winery

Circle Farm Tour

Rockweld Farms

Van Eekelen Enterprises

Lepp Farm Market

2015 Agri-Links Award goes to Lepp Farm Market.

Lepp Farm Market truly is a perfect merger of Rob’s love of farming and Charlotte’s passion for using fresh, local ingredients to create delicious food. The sod turning for the Market was in May 2009. The Lepp Farm Market is proud to provide our community with the freshest, locally sourced products. Lepp Farms raises antibiotic and hormone free pork and poultry, and their cattle are family raised in Ashcroft. Whether it’s the popular non-GMO Peaches ‘N’ Cream corn from the Abbotsford farm or mouth-watering cherries from their Okanagan orchard, most produce sold at Lepp Farm Market is hand-picked from their very own farm. They also support a number of Fraser Valley farmers in our community, which means most of their produce is local, fresh and delicious.

Recipient 1











Accepting the award are owners Rob and Charlotte Lepp



2015-03-03_2149Sponsored by  Eco Tex Health Care Linens

The Water Saver category represents individuals, business or organization that demonstrate a reduction in water use and plans for continued reduction of successful reduction targets.  The nominees are:

Growoya Plant Irrigation Ltd.


Our Water Matters Committee

Best Western Plus Regency Inn and Conference Centre

Windset Farms

FraserGlen Golf Course

2015 Water Saver Award goes to Tradex. 

The Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre, or Tradex, is the second largest facility of its kind in British Columbia and an industry leader to a growing market. It is also leading the way in efficient and sustainable water use. In 2012 they installed a 40,000 rainwater harvesting system resulting in the virtual elimination of the public water system for any use other than public drinking water and food preparation. Rainwater is used for cleaning, irrigation and washrooms. It is now used 7 months of the year to flush toilets and urinals.













Accepting on their behalf is Bill Tavares Managing Director of Events & Facilities for Tradex



Sponsored by Royal Bank of  Canada

Conservation or recycling initiatives are much easier to support when there is easy access to resources, products or services. Businesses that take initiative to protect the environment and make it easy for others to be “Friends of the Environment” are being recognized in this category.  This year we received a total of 7 very worthy nominations for the Green Product or Service Award:

Capt’n Crunch

The Loft

Eco Kids Care

Salon 77


Net Zero Waste

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

2015 Green Product or Service Award goes to Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre has stepped up its corporate responsibility with efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and in doing so has increased its landfill diversion rate from 33.8% in 2010 to 56.15% in 2014.  In the past year, Sevenoaks also recycled 5,000 litres of grease and cooking oil from the Food Court tenants for use in the processing of bio-diesel fuel.  Through innovative and new technology, Sevenoaks Shopping Centre has reduced its consumption of electricity by 143,779 Kwh and 85,361 cubic meters of natural gas.  In 2014, energy efficient auto flush valves and low flush toilets were installed in the public washrooms reducing water consumption by 3,869 cubic meters and sewage by 3,482 cubic meters.  

Recipient 6









Accepting the award is Wendy Schultz – General Manager, Rick Reid – Operations Manager, Stan Harisson and Shelley Giberson from Marquise



Sponsored by Madrone Environmental Services Ltd.

Nominees for this year’s Green Project award came from a wide variety of sectors.  Each nominee represents a study in the breadth of environmental innovation, doing more with less and, helping to make community more sustainable.  The nominees for Green Project are:

Focus Architecture

Madrone Environmental Services Ltd.

Fraser Valley Conservancy

Sonbuilt Custom Homes Ltd.

Magnum Trailer and Equipment Inc.

Krahn Engineering Ltd.

Lynnhaven Society

2015 Green Project Award goes to Sonbuilt Homes.

Sonbuilt Homes has been building energy efficient homes in the Fraser Valley since 1995.Their current featured project is an Abbotsford-based house selected by Natural Resources Canada to be part of the prestigious R-2000 Net Zero Emissions Pilot Project, one of 20 showcase structures across Canada. The house features solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, rain water harvesting, waste water heat recovery, geothermal and a host of other green technologies.

Recipient 7 










Accepting on their behalf is Jonathan Zerkee, President and Carmen Zerkee, Business Manager



The Community / Grassroots Award is presented to a not – for – profit or individual that demonstrates investment of human intellectual and financial resources to a project in green design, environmental protection and/ or improvement measures. This years nominees include:

Abbotsford Community Services Recycling Program

Habitat for Humanity

2015 Community/Grassroots Award goes to Abbotsford Community Services Recycling Program.

Abbotsford Community Services Recycling Program provide recycling services for the City of Abbotsford and the District of Mission.  They also provide educational programs for youth and raise public awareness on issues of recycling and composting. Some of the programs include the recycling education centre, a school education program, workshops for community groups and a re-creation station.  The recycling centre employs 50 people in full and part time positions, many with developmental disabilities. The centre diverts approximately 18,000 metric tonnes of materials each year from the landfill.

Recipient 2













Accepting the award is Lisa Sullivan, Director of Abbotsford Community Services Recycling



The nominees for the Energy Saver Award have demonstrated  a reduction in energy use through conservation measures over a certain period, and continue to set targets to reduce at home and in the workplace.

The nominees are:

TR3 Geothermal Services

Eco Dairy

Speedline Solutions

2015 Energy Saver Award goes to Eco Dairy.

EcoDairy in partnership with Science World is a one-of-a-kind demonstration farm which aims to promote agriculture science and technology education and inspire future innovation in the agricultural sector. 

EcoDairy is a non-profit BC based society with four mandates:

  • To create a platform for advances in agri-technology and promote agritourism
  • To provide opportunities for education of dairy farming practices and products
  • To focus on green energy conservation and nutrient management
  • To offer a fun and experiential learning environment for the public

EcoDairy showcases innovations in dairy sustainability and efficiency while inspiring young minds to develop an active interest in farming, innovation in food and agriculture and other facets of science and technology.

Recipient 3












Accepting on their behalf was Peter Scales



Sponsored by Abbotsford Community Services Recycling

The Green Leader of Tomorrow Award is granted to an individual or team of youth up to the age of 25 yrs who meets one or more of the following criteria:  Demonstrates commitment to environmental awareness and outreach; or leads or has led a project in one of the award categories, energy saver, water saver, green project or agri-links, and or community environmental volunteerism.

The Nominees are:

Urban Studies Group (UFV)

Ashleigh Yakemchuk

Ben Togeretz

Nathan Loewen

2015 Green Leader of Tomorrow is awarded to Ashleigh Yakemchuk.

Ashley is a Geography Major at the University of the Fraser Valley. Ashley works at the Centre for Sustainability to promote campaigns that change behaviour. Between planning and participating in sustainability events and creating a community garden proposal she also lead a campaign to reduce disposable water bottles on campus by installing filtered water bottle fountains on campus. She has now been invited to sit on the advisory committee for the Fraser Basin Counsel. 

Recipient 5











Accepting on her behalf is Patrick Harrison – Chair, Centre for Sustainability



Sponsored by Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Green Leaders are those in our community who are committed to protecting our natural resources and being dedicated stewards of our environment.

The nominee in this category displayed such leadership when it comes to the environment and is an associate professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.   She holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College of Scholars. Her work centres on studying and promoting local food as part of sustainable communities, including the role of agriculture on the urban fringe. She is an outspoken advocate for local food systems and argues both as an academic and an activist for sustainable community planning that limits damaging urban sprawl. Born into a West Coast fishing family, she has long been passionate about food, and spent the early years of her career studying wild foods, farmers’ markets, and alternatives to fast food. She sits on the board of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market, and heads the Agri urban Research Institute at UFV, which is devoted to the study of how to best incorporate sustainable food production into regions near major cities. 

Specifically, along with her research team they have created maps of changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve over the last forty years, and drawing on data from around the globe and has argued strongly for improvements to the reserve and an end to unneeded exclusions and landscape fragmentation. Recently she presented a public gallery exhibition of this work, in which maps were paired with photographs taken around the region. This exhibit was launched with a series of talks highlighting the need to curb urban sprawl and the importance of a local food movement. She also argues for the ecological benefits of well-managed farmland, the importance of a dynamic local agricultural industry, and the many benefits of containing urban sprawl.  This is a great example of environmental responsibility in our community.

The recipient of the 2015 Green Leader award is Dr. Lenore Newman of the University of the Fraser Valley.

Recipient 4












Accepting on her behalf was Dean of Science Dr. Lucy Lee



Congratulations to all of the 2015 Abbotsford Environmental Leadership Awards nominees and recipients.

A special thank you to the dedicated individuals who participated on our 2015 Judging Team.