Past Award Winner - Lou Wise
Lou Wise has been capturing the landscape of Southern Ontario via airplane and camera for over 30 years. He has taken thousands of images of Ontario's waterways, including most of the Oak Ridges Moraine and the waters that flow outward from it. He has generously shared his talent and images with many organizations, including several conservation authorities. His work has been instrumental in compelling donors to give, and politicians to rethink development plans - all for the cost of gas and film!
Lou had been taking aerial photographs from rented aircraft as a hobby since the 1970's, but it wasn't until 1980 that his efforts were directed toward the conservation of the environment. While still working full time as Director of Educational Media for the Toronto Board of Education, Lou often took aerial photos of landmarks that interested him. Upon retiring in 1984, Lou continued to capture the landscapes from his own Piper Cherokee and his enthusiasm for the environment is as great as ever. In 1988 he acquired the funds to undertake a three year project to photograph 150 Class 1 wetlands across Southern Ontario from Windsor to Cornwall and up into the Muskokas.
Much of his work continued in the early 1990s when he became interested in the Oak Ridges Moraine. After consulting with conservationists and educators about what material might be useful, Lou continues shooting photos of diverse subjects within the Moraine such as kettle lakes, headwaters of rivers, gravel pits, car wrecking yards, urban settlements and more. He makes these photos available for schools and conservationists who use them widely. Today, he also focuses his interest on the tributaries of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, the Duffins Creek Watershed, the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed and the Niagara Escarpment.
Lou Wise boasts an extended list of accomplishments with a clear emphasis on education and guidance, promoting conservation principles through aerial photography and a truly personal inspiration for the environment.
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