The 2024 Ottawa Eco Awards celebrate outstanding individuals in the Ottawa community who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental stewardship, sustainability leadership, and climate action. We have been thrilled with the nominations that we have received from Ottawans for our second Ottawa Eco Awards, and we are heartened to learn about the local eco champions who inspire you.

In celebration of Earth Day 2024, the Eco Awards celebrate a range of inspiring people who are contributing to a greener, climate-friendly city in diverse ways, from conserving woodland habitats, to organizing a joy-filled family bike event, to engaging youth in climate justice, to cultivating a wildlife-friendly habitat that inspires urban and rural gardens. 


Congratulations to the 2024 Ottawa Eco Award Recipients:


Active & Accessible City Award:

Cassie Smith, Founder of Kidical Mass Ottawa, Transportation Demand Management Strategic Lead at Envirocentre, Board Member of Bike Ottawa, and volunteer with For Our Kids

“Cassie Smith's leadership and advocacy work, especially through School Streets Ottawa and Bike Ottawa, have significantly contributed to promoting active transportation and enhancing the safety and accessibility of cycling and walking for children in Ottawa. Her innovative initiatives like Ottawa's first 'Kidical Mass' events have fostered a community-wide appreciation for active travel.”

- Chris Hircock, Ottawa Community Member


Climate Champion Award:

Nick Hebb, Program Director of Synapcity 

Nick Hebb, transitioning from SMARTNet Alliance to Synapcity, has seamlessly integrated climate action into civic education programming. His leadership in facilitating discussions on Ottawa's Tree Canopy, Food Security, and Algonquin Allyship reflects his innovative and collaborative approach to climate advocacy, amplifying the efforts of climate-centric organizations.”

– Nick Harrison, Board Chair, Synapcity


Land and Water Defender Award:

Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Indigenous Critical Researcher 

"Dara Wawatie-Chabot is celebrated for their unwavering commitment to protecting local moose populations in the Parc de la Verendrye, Kichi Sipi against further exposure to nuclear waste dumping, and advocating for the consideration of all living beings. Their advocacy focuses on the respect and inclusion of traditional Indigenous jurisdiction at community events and engaging in traditional learning and ways of life. Dara's actions reflect a dedication to safeguarding natural resources and highlighting Indigenous perspectives in environmental protection, showcasing their role as a powerful force in environmental advocacy." 
- Erin Bell, Tsiits Gitanee on the traditional unceded Algonquin territory

Nature Champion Award: 

Andrea Sissons, Founder of Rural Woodland Ottawa

"Andrea Sissons, founder of Rural Woodlands Ottawa (RWO), has been instrumental in conserving woodland habitats and promoting biodiversity through initiatives like living snow fences and tax incentives for land conservation. Her leadership in environmental education and advocacy, exemplified by organizing documentary screenings and presentations, underscores her commitment to preserving natural habitats."

Ottawa Community Member

The Refuse-Reduce-Reuse Champion Award: 

Afolasade Tosin Nubi, Doctoral candidate and creator of the Closing Loops Ottawa blog

"Sade Nubi has made remarkable strides in environmental advocacy and education in Ottawa, despite being relatively new to the city. Her proactive initiatives, including the "Closing Loops_ottawa" blog, underscore her dedication to promoting sustainable waste management and environmental sustainability practices. Her engagement in various educational and community platforms demonstrates her commitment to fostering a greener future." 

Dr. Nubi Olubunmi, Ottawa Community member 


Most Cherished Greenspace Award:

Fletcher Wildlife Garden, a project of the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club (OFNC)

“The Fletcher Wildlife Garden, managed by the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club, is a vital urban wildlife habitat showcasing sustainable gardening and conservation practices. This green space serves as a living example of how urban areas can support diverse ecosystems. The dedicated volunteers' efforts in habitat restoration and native plant propagation are instrumental in educating the public about ecological gardening and combating invasive species, making it a treasured green space within the city.”

- Lynne Patenaude, Ottawa Community Member 


Youth Eco Champion Award: 

Léanne Matamoros, student representative for the Environmental Engineer program at Carleton University, active member of Engineers Without Borders

"For all her efforts over the years to make a difference in the fight against climate change. In 2023, Léanne is the student representative for the "Environmental Engineer" program at Carleton University, where she organizes a meeting for students with environmental professionals to give them career options after graduation. An active member of Engineers Without Borders, she was responsible for the "Legacy project", setting up a bio-digester. She also organized a trip to visit a bio-digester on a farm in the Ottawa Valley and participated in lobbying activities at the federal parliament. Completing her 5th and final year of environmental engineering at Carleton, Léanne completed a group project to build a farm-based CO2 sensor, incorporating farmers' opinions and suggestions. Her career path also includes jobs and internships focused on sustainability and the environment, affirming her dedication to the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) plus composting."

Ottawa Community Member


Youth Eco Champion Award: 

Mbombo Malonde Kapacala, contributor to Assembly of Seven Generations

“Mbombo Malonde Kapacala has shown exceptional dedication to the Indigenous youth community and environmental stewardship through their work with the Assembly of 7 Generations (A7G). From assisting in the maintenance of a community garden to contributing to traditional cultural practices, Mbombo’s activities embody a deep commitment to nurturing connections between culture, community, and the environment. Their contributions, including support for large community feasts and participation in crafting and environmental education, highlight the importance of youth involvement in ecological conservation and cultural preservation.”

- Harmony Eshkawkogan


Youth Eco Champion Award:  

Shana Quesnel and Alex Stratas, Co-Presidents of Climate Justice Climatique UOttawa

"Alex Stratas, alongside Shana Quesnel, co-leads Climate Justice Climatique UOttawa in their campaign for climate justice. Their leadership in the RBC off-campus campaign demonstrates a strong commitment to challenging fossil fuel financing and advocating for a sustainable future. Their efforts to mobilize the student community against environmental and Indigenous rights violations spotlight their impactful activism and dedication to climate justice." 

- Levi Clarkson, Campus Organizing Lead at Change Course.

Congratulations! Award recipients will be celebrated at Ecology Ottawa’s free screening of The Condor and The Eagle at the Mayfair Theatre on Earth Day (April 22). 


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