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Posted by Janet McKay /
Toronto Public Health Award
LEAF receives 2014 Health Champion Award from Toronto Board of Health


On Monday, June 30th, LEAF was presented the Public Health Champion Award from Toronto’s Board of Health.   Each year, the award is presented to one individual and one organization that have made outstanding contributions toward protecting and promoting the health of Toronto's residents.  It was my privilege to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the board, staff, volunteers and program participants at LEAF.  There is an amazing and vast team of people behind all of the work we do!

Janet McKay receives award on behalf of LEAF.  From left: Rumina Velshi, Toronto Board of Health; Janet McKay, Executive Director of LEAF; Counicllor Joe Mihevic, Chair of Toronto Board of Health; Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health.

The links between urban forests and our health are clear.  Research is showing that we simply can’t afford to live without the ecological services that trees provide.  They shade us from UV radiation, they clean our air and they improve our psychological well-being – just to name a few benefits!  It is very rewarding to have the Board of Health recognize the co-dependence of healthy urban forests and healthy urban residents!

I would like to thank our nominator, Safoura Moazami of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition, Ultraviolet Radiation/Shade working group.  Safoura invited LEAF to join the working group last year and it has been an excellent way to make direct connections with health professionals.   We are very thankful that Safoura, and fellow working group member Ruthanne Henry, took the time and effort to nominate us!

Thank you also to Paul Ronan of the Ontario Parks Association and Dr. Faisla Moola of the David Suzuki Foundation, for providing letters of support.   Both of these organizations are key members of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition and are working closely with LEAF to make living green infrastructure a priority across Ontario.

And thank you most of all to our tireless volunteers and program participants: Tree Tender graduates, Backyard Planting Program participants, EAB Ambassadors, Tree Tour participants and so many more! Each one of you is doing your part to ensure our urban forest is appreciated and improved across our city.  Your collective efforts have made our work, and this wonderful award, possible!



Janet McKay is the Executive Director and Founder of LEAF.


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