In 2007, the Town of Richmond Hill became the first municipality ever to be awarded with the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation’s Moraine for Life Award in the Municipal Leadership category. The award was presented to the Town through the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Culture at a ceremony following the Oak Ridges Moraine Symposium at the Radisson Hotel in Markham and was officially presented to Richmond Hill Council on February 26.
A number of projects, partnerships and community initiatives including the restoration of Briar Nine Park and Reserve, the Lake Wilcox Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project, initiatives at the Humber Flats Eco-Park, the Healthy Yards Program, the Pesticide Reduction Strategy and the Town’s participation in the purchase of lands on the Moraine were cited by Evergreen as projects worthy of note.
Smart Thinking About Alternative Commuting Drives Award-Winning Partnership
Richmond Hill and Markham are together in the driver’s seat of an innovative partnership between a number of levels of government and the business community. The joint venture – Smart Commute 404-7 – was selected as the recipient of the Sustainable Urban Transportation Award, from the Transportation Association of Canada. The award recognizes the partnership that was formed between the two communities and acknowledged their work as environmental leaders.
Smart Commute 404-7 was formed when the municipalities of Richmond Hill and Markham joined forces with the Regional Municipality of York, the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Markham Board of Trade, local business leaders with funding from Transport Canada, and the Urban Transportation Showcase Program to improve mobility and accessibility in the two communities. As an alternative commuting program, it promotes public transit, teleworking, carpooling and parking management, while capitalizing on the shared expertise and resources of the partners to reduce traffic congestion, increase mobility, and create more livable communities.
The Sustainable Urban Transportation Award, from the Transportation Association of Canada, was presented at the Transportation Association of Canada’s 2007 conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Monday, October 15. It recognizes exemplary and innovative contributions to the development and enhancement of sustainable urban transportation.
Town of Richmond Hill Wins United Way's Municipal Challenge Award
The Town of Richmond Hill received the United Way of York Region's (UWYR) 2007 Municipal Challenge Award in the large municipality category. This award is presented to the municipality that accomplishes the highest percentage of participation in the category. In 2007, participation increased by 19 per cent over the previous campaign resulting in a total of $53,000 being raised for the UWYR by Town staff.
The United Way of York Region supports a network of 40 agencies, funding 100 vital social service programs. The Community Fund focuses on five priority areas: supporting those who have mental health challenges; providing services for newcomers and immigrants; addressing domestic violence and abuse, tackling issues of affordable housing and homelessness; and promoting literacy. Due to the generousity and support of Town staff, as well as many other organizations, the UWYR's 2007 Fundraising Campaign raised a total of $9,004,321.
Town Honoured With Snow Storage Facility Award
Council was presented with the 2007 Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) Technical Innovation Award for the Town’s nationally-recognized Snow Storage Facility project. The Town’s Snow Storage Facility is a leading, innovative technology and the only one of its kind in Canada. The Snow Storage Facility earned the award for being an innovation of proven success of a significant advance in public works service. The project began last winter when the Town was chosen by Environment Canada for their pollution reduction study arising from snow disposal site runoff. Instead of allowing melt water to drain directly into storm sewers like most sites, the Town’s state-of-the-art snow storage disposal site includes an impervious deck to protect underlying ground water from the melt water and instead directs the collected runoff through a Stormceptor unit (oil/grit separator) and a water quality pond, eventually discharging as clean water into a tributary of the Rouge River. It is intended that once Environment Canada’s research is complete, Richmond Hill’s Snow Storage Facility will be promoted as the Canadian demonstration project for snow storage and road salt management. The award is annually presented by the OPWA to an individual, team or organization for the development, management and implementation of a creative idea, device, process or system that enhances the goals of public works in serving the public and protecting the environment.