November 9, 2010
Media Release

York Region Forest Advisory Team volunteers honoured with Monitoring the Moraine Hero Award

Group recognized for work in helping manage the York Regional Forest 
NEWMARKET – The York Region Forest Advisory Team (YRFAT) has been honoured with the 2010 Monitoring the Moraine Hero Award for their volunteer efforts in helping to manage the York Regional Forest. 
 
The award was presented by representatives from environmental groups EcoSpark and STORM (Save the Oak Ridges Moraine) at a ceremony Saturday marking the 5th anniversary of the Monitoring the Moraine program.
 
“The volunteers on the York Region Forest Advisory Team provide an invaluable service to our Region by monitoring activities in the York Regional Forest and providing helpful advice in its management,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “As dedicated stewards of our natural heritage, it is very gratifying to see their efforts celebrated with the Monitoring the Moraine Hero Award.”
 
The YRFAT was initially established in 1994 by The Regional Municipality of York and the Ministry of Natural Resources to allow public input into the development of the York Regional Forest through a 20-year management plan.  The York Regional Forest comprises more than 2,200 hectares (5,500 acres) of forest cover in 20 separate tracts, with the majority located on the Oak Ridges Moraine in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
 
The 21-member advisory team is a diverse group that includes representatives from a variety of groups including naturalists, hikers, equestrians, dog sledders, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers, outdoor associations and landowners from neighbouring properties.  They meet six times a year to discuss forest management issues, such as events, projects, public education and recreational uses.
 
“The Monitoring the Moraine Hero Award is a wonderful way to honour the contributions that our York Region Forest Advisory Team volunteers make towards the health and welfare of our forests,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services Committee.  “The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville and the Region benefit both ecologically and economically from the York Regional Forest and we are thankful for the efforts of those dedicated to its protection.”
 
The Monitoring the Moraine program is administered by EcoSpark in association with STORM to honour groups that monitor and protect the Oak Ridges Moraine.
 
For more information on the Monitoring the Moraine Hero Award, as well as a full list of this year’s recipients, please visit www.ecospark.ca/monitoringthemoraine/moraine_hero_awards/2010
 
For more information on the York Regional Forest and The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1232 / Cell: 905 251-6419
Email: michael.kemp@york.ca

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