By John Swartz
Sustainable Orillia held its first annual general meeting February 28. There were 25 people participating online. Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke addressed the meeting. Clarke has been a strong supporter of Sustainable Orillia and was instrumental in the creation of the group.
Claire Malcolmson, executive director of of Rescue Lake Simcoe, was the guest speaker, saying threats to area lakes which have more than double acceptable levels of phosphorus can be reversed if action by area residents.
Sustainable Orillia’s president, Stan Mathewson, outlined achievements, which include a weekly tip column, 2 electric vehicle demonstrations and 9 webinars during Sustainable Orillia Month last November. Those webinars can be watched on their Youtube channel. Fred Larsen was also named Orillia’s Citizen of the Year for 2020 in large part for his work with Sustainable Orillia.
“It was a challenging year for everyone, yet we are seeing increased engagement across the community. We are becoming more and more confident about our ability to help position Orillia as a model for sustainable practices,” Mathewson said.
“It’s been encouraging to see the sustainability movement gain momentum over the past year.”
Three new board members were elected to the organization. Lakehead professor Dr. Sree Kurissery brings some additional credibility to the group because she is the chair of the sustainability sciences department and has been studying water quality in Lake Simcoe for several years.
Orillia Home Hardware partner, Kirk McLean, has supported many community groups though the power of sponsorships, and now has a cause he can be active in.
Rosanna Shillolo made submissions for the Tip of the Week about sustainable outdoor activity. As the owner of Sunrise Yoga she want to use transferable skills for healthy bodies and find ways to apply them to the environment.
The rest of the board members are Danny Epstein (vice-president), Fred Larsen (treasurer), Gordon Ball (secretary), Susanne Laperle, John Knapp, Michael Shillolo and Orillia councillor David Campbell. Zac Waite is the president of the Sustainable Orillia Youth Council. Renée Recoskie the City’s liaison staffer with Sustainable Orillia.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)
Updated with board member photos.