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Jun 23, 2020 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Celebrates its Environmental Champions

by Sarah Rossi |

COQUITLAM, B.C., June 23, 2020 Coquitlam celebrated its environmental champions last night with a special online award presentation.

The City presented its 15th Environmental Achievement Awards at last night’s live-streamed Council meeting, recognizing community volunteers who excel in the areas of conservation, public awareness, environmental education, habitat enhancement and sustainable living.

Coquitlam residents of all ages who have demonstrated initiative and leadership while volunteering for projects with long-term environmental benefits were recognized in seven categories

A record number of 22 nominations were received this year for the awards, which take place every two years and are typically presented in-person at a special ceremony. A full list of all the award nominees is available online at

City Recognizes 2020 Environmental Awards Recipients

The awards were announced at the beginning of the June 22 Council meeting, which can be viewed at The 2020 recipients are:

  • Green Sprout Award (ages 3 to 12) – Julie Wang, Chloe Wang and Ryan Wang, three siblings who have been working together to clean the streets in their neighbourhood for the past two years through the City’s Adopt-a-Street program.
  • Youth Award (ages 13 to 18) – Jason Liao, a founder of the Pollinator Project who has been inspiring other teens and adults in the community and beyond for years with his efforts to save bees and other pollinators. Liao was also one of the youngest recipients of the Ron McKinnon Community Champion Award.
  • Adult Individual Award – Lori Austin, an energetic and enthusiastic supporter of many environmental causes – including the Burke Mountain Naturalists, the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterfly project and more – who also serves as a citizen representative on the City’s Sustainability & Environmental Advisory Committee.
  • Teacher or Educator – Nicole McKenzie, a kind and enthusiastic teacher with School District 43’s Encompass program who makes an effort to incorporate the environment into her lessons, to use the outdoors as a classroom, and to inspire her students to take action, such as volunteering for the City’s Adopt-a-Trail program.
  • School or Youth Group Award – Pollinator Project, a youth-led organization dedicated to improving the health of pollinators and educating the public about related environmental issues. Its work has included planting 30 residential green spaces and constructing three green spaces in Coquitlam.
  • Adult Group Award – Pasquale and Rob Gnocato, familiar faces at the Inspiration Garden, where they donated and have maintained the mason bee house for many years while sharing their expertise with others, both informally and through seminars.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Norm Fletcher, who has worked for decades to support local fish populations and has been instrumental in rejuvenating the Coquitlam River. For at least 20 years, Fletcher has been a dedicated volunteer at the Grist Goesen Memorial Hatchery, a project of the Port Coquitlam & District Hunting and Fishing Club. He has also been closely involved with the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable over the years.

Award recipients receive a certificate and are recognized on the City website at and social media.

Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

  • Visit to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
  • Visit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
  • Visit for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.

Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information.


Media Inquiries

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