skip to main content

Conservationist of the Year

This is the web page for the Conservationist of the Year Award, presented each year by Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

Denys Farms Inc. – Jim, Dan and Mike Denys, of Parkhill area, honoured with Conservationist of the Year Award for more than 25 years of conservation farming

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is pleased to announce the winners of the Conservationist of the Year Award.

The winners, in 2022, are Denys Farms Inc. – Jim, Dan and Mike Denys, of the Parkhill area.

Read the story now:

Conservationist of the Year Award

The Conservationist of the Year Award honours a person, farm, business, community group, or organization. 

Download the Conservationist of the Year Nomination Form (2022) now:

NOTE: 2022 Nominations are closed. Consider making a nomination in the new year (2023).

The nomination form is available in text below and in alternate formats upon request.

Nomination Form Text

Ausable Bayfield Conservation presents:

Conservationist of the Year Award

Nomination Form

I wish to nominate the following nominee:

Name of nominee:

Contact name (if nominee is organization or business) :

Their address:

Postal code:


E-mail (optional):

This nomination is being submitted by:

Your name:



Postal code:

E-mail (optional):

Tell us why this person or organization is deserving in 300 words or less:

Please send nomination forms by deadline attention to:

Tim Cumming, Communications Specialist,
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), 71108 Morrison Line,
RR 3 Exeter, ON N0M 1S5 at

Phone: 519-235-2610 Toll-free: 1-888-286-2610 Facsimile: 519.235.1963

Decision of judging panel is final.

About the Award

Ausable Bayfield Conservation has presented the Conservationist of the Year Award for more than 35 years - since 1984.

Past winners include rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. Each winner is a business, farm, organization, or person residing in the watershed or having done conservation work there.

For the award winner, Ausable Bayfield Conservation presents an award and makes a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods site maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


Individuals, organizations or companies who either reside in, or have completed conservation work within, the area of jurisdiction of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), are eligible to win the Conservationist of the Year award. Current ABCA staff members and directors are excluded.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation will make a donation towards a tree and plaque at a Commemorative Woods sites maintained by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, since 1984, with the annual presentation of an award to the Conservationist of the Year.

The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years that have shown long-term benefits for the natural environment and society.

Examples of conservation work that protects soil, water, and living things, include:

  • Improving local water quality
  • Conservation farming
  • Reforestation
  • Environmental education
  • Providing wildlife and fish habitat
  • Promoting environmental awareness and action
  • Previous award winners

Conservationist of the Year award winners in the past include:

  • Keith, Geoff and Mike Strang (Strang Farms)
  • Blue Bayfield
  • Koos and Nathalie Vermue
  • Rick Quinn and Diane Hawthorne and their family
  • Mels and Ruthanne van der Laan, of Cold Stream Ranch
  • Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group
  • Cordner Farms - Jane Sadler Richards and Doug Richards
  • Bob Norris
  • Peter Darbishire
  • Joan and John Love
  • Ann and Bill Phelan
  • Exeter Lions Club
  • Patricia Down* and Robert Down
  • Lorne Teeple *
  • Grand Bend Community Foundation
  • Stewardson Dairy
  • Boys' and Girls' Club, London (Middlesex ECO Crew)
  • Shadyside Farms, Paul and Vic Hodgins
  • Ray Letheren, Friends of the Bayfield River
  • Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Lambton Shores
  • Andy deBoer
  • Stephanie Donaldson
  • Everet and Joan Van Sligtenhorst
  • John MacPherson
  • Straw Family
  • George Cantrick*
  • David McClure
  • Brian Arnold
  • Fred Dobbs
  • Lions Club of Arkona
  • Village of Arkona
  • Township of Hibbert
  • Stephen Bright
  • Dinney Funeral Home
  • Huron Fish and Game Club
  • Garry Palmateer
  • Lions Club of Clinton
  • Bluewater Recycling Association
  • Andrew Dixon
  • Ralph and Eleanor Smith
  • Elmer Trick
  • Armstrong East Cottage Association
  • Lambton Wildlife Inc.
  • David Ball
  • Adelaide Township
  • Arnold Westlaken
  • Tuckersmith Township
  • Van Loon Farms
  • Village of Hensall
  • Bob Montgomery
  • Jim Reeve
  • DEL Farms
  • Bud Walker
  • Bert and Margaret Daynard
  • Ausable Anglers Club
  • Carfrey Cann
  • Keith Connelly
  • John Deeves
  • Nancy Glendinning
  • Hayter Turkey Farms
  • Peter Rombouts
  • Bill Thirlwall
  • Ausable Nomads
  • Dearing Farms
  • Huron Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Murray and Ron McRae
  • Huron Board of Education
  • Thomas Doherty
  • Huron Centennial School
  • Jerry Giesen
  • Claybird Gun Club
  • Wayne Woods
  • Bayfield Anglers Association
  • Jay Campbell

* Asterisk denotes that the award was given posthumously.