Past Award Winner - Tom Taylor
Tom Taylor has spent nearly 50 years in volunteering and providing public service to his community. His work in supporting conservation and environmental initiatives as both a volunteer as well as a municipal politician are well documented. In 2004, his environmental accomplishments were recognized by his being awarded the George R. Richardson Conservation Award from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority for his lifetime commitment to improving the environmental health of the Lake Simcoe Watershed.
Tom has spent more than 32 years in the municipal political arena. In his capacity as Town Councillor with the Town of Newmarket and later as Regional Councillor with York Region, Tom continually emphasized the environmental aspects of various initiatives on the municipal agenda. His leadership during his nine year term as the Mayor of Newmarket helped to launch that community as one of the most environmentally progressive municipalities in the Country. The development and implementation of a comprehensive natural heritage strategy, a municipal Tree Preservation Policy and Anti-Idling By-law are examples of his advocacy and leadership.
Tom is a Founding Director of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and served on the Board of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority from 2003 until 2006. He is the Chair and founding member of the Holland River Improvement Committee where he was instrumental in the creation of Holland River Clean-up Day.
Through his position as Mayor of Newmarket, Tom worked tirelessly to help develop Canada's first Platinum LEED eco-homes subdivision. In looking for private interests to develop the property the Town insisted that certain stringent environmental principles be followed – even though it meant that the Town would not be accepting the highest possible bid. The homes sold for a slight premium to comparable houses in the Town, however the energy savings more than compensated for the higher cost. This legacy has become a blueprint for other municipalities across Canada.
Tom Taylor has been an influential advocate for stewardship of our environment among our youth. As an Ambassador for Neighbourhood Network Aurora – Newmarket, a non-profit community–based organization, Tom has been instrumental in developing a student tree planting initiative. Planting a Future: Students for the Environmental Tree Planting Day began with 200 student volunteers and four planting sites in 2010 and this year had already grown to involve over 400 student volunteers and seven planting sites. The student planting initiative encourages youth in the community to get involved and help support their environment now and into the future.
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