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Ontario's Greenest Education Centres Receive new EcoCentres Certification

Jan 27, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Distribution 

Toronto, Ontario - January 27, 2012 - - Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) announced today that 13 education centres received Ontario EcoCentre designation. Ontario EcoCentres, a new nine-month long program, is designed to help education centres address the issue of climate change. The program provides a framework to reduce climate impact and to enhance operational performance, as well as promoting awareness and behavioural change for sustainability. The Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology is the first in Ontario to achieve Platinum Certification, and five TRCA sites received Silver and Bronze certification.

"The EcoCentres program is the first of its kind in Ontario specifically developed for environmental/outdoor day centres, residential field centres, museums, zoos, or other centres that provide on-site education programs," said Darryl Gray, Senior Manager, Education, Toronto and Region Conservation. "Education centres have a significant opportunity to influence students and enable them to understand issues such as climate change. Through this program we are helping centres become leaders in sustainability by encouraging people working and learning at the centre to act in an environmentally responsible way."

The 13 newly certified EcoCentres sites are:

Platinum Certification: Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology

Gold Certification: Toronto Zoo

Silver Certification: Lake St. George Field Centre

Bronze Certification: Albion Hills Field Centre, Claremont Field Centre, Kortright Centre for Conservation, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Mountsberg Conservation Area, Downsview Park, G. W. Finlayson Field Centre, Jack Smythe Field Centre, Old Britannia Schoolhouse.

 

"The Platinum Certification from Ontario EcoCentres is a tremendous honour. It signifies the ability to collaborate with our partners and Humber's Sustainable Energy and Building Technology (SEBT) students," said Melanie Sifton, Director, Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology. "It proves that our centre has been implementing and promoting sustainable practices from the start. The perseverance and tenacity of our staff and dedicated students enabled us to achieve sustainability across all levels."

Ontario EcoCentres offers sustainability benchmarks in the Certification Guide, which contains a complete checklist of questions in 10 areas providing clear and measurable ways for centres to achieve certification.

An applying centre can select from three up to all 10 of these components to complete within the current certification year in order to attain the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Level of Certification. Education centres interested in the 2012 program can visit ontarioecocentres.org or email ontarioecocentres@trca.on.ca for eligibility and application details.

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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