REEP Celebrates 15 Years With Community Action Awards
REEP turns 15 this year! With over 14,000 homes and 23,000 tonnes of saved CO2 emissions after our founding in 1999, we are celebrating the achievements of participants in our programs and the partners that made them possible.
Our celebration event, held at the Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener on Tuesday November 4th, 2015, brought together funders, businesses, community members and elected officials to recognize our shared accomplishments and look forward to the work ahead. Local dignitaries, including Regional Chair Ken Seiling and Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, presented the awards to people who have made their home or workplace more sustainable.
This was our way of saying thank you to the ordinary homeowners, teachers and organizations who are making our community more sustainable. We have been so inspired by the work we see at homes, churches, schools and businesses. We want to recognize that good work and share these stories to inspire others to do the same.
Thanks to Catherine Mombourquette Photography for the photos below.
REEP Community Action Award Winners
Thirteen awards were presented in the following categories:
- Energy Awards, sponsored by Union Gas and Kitchener Utilities
- Stormwater Awards, sponsored by the City of Kitchener and City of Waterloo
- Education Awards
Community Action Awards: Energy
Sponsored by Union Gas and Kitchener Utilities.
- Samantha Sylvestre, Waterloo – for achievement in energy savings
Samantha insulated her entire house: basement, exterior walls and attic. She also installed a high-efficiency boiler and heat recovery ventilator, and replaced three windows and one exterior door. All of this work reduced her carbon emissions by 10.1 tonnes per year, reduced her energy use by 66 percent and increased their EnerGuide rating by 40 points.
- Marcel and Johanne Girard, Cambridge – for achievement in energy savings through the Union Gas Home Reno Rebate program
Marcel and Johanne insulated their walls on the main floor, upper level, and their attic. They also replaced one window and two exterior doors. Their actions reduced their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 tonnes, reduced their energy use by an impressive 45 percent and increased their EnerGuide rating by 24 points.
- Cliff and Laura Marck, Kitchener – for achievement in energy savings by a Kitchener Utilities customer
Laura and Cliff insulated the exterior walls on their main floor, switched the heating system from oil to gas, upgraded the water heater and replaced one door. Their actions reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 9.1 tonnes, reduced their energy consumption by 20 percent and increased their EnerGuide rating by 10 points.
- Carmen Nave and John Verne, Kitchener – for achievement in energy savings through the Kitchener Home Energy Grant program
Carmen and John insulated their entire home: exterior walls, basement and attic, and the basement header. Their actions reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8.6 tonnes per year, cut their energy consumption by 57 percent and increased their EnerGuide rating by 37 points.
- Kristina and Jason Taylor, Baden – for achievement during the Great Draftproofing Crackdown
Kristina and Jason Taylor were enthusiastic hosts of a draft proofing work party in their home. During the work party the REEP team sealed up many areas in the basement and the main floor. After the work party, Kristina and Jason carried on with weather-stripping and significant air sealing of their own in the basement header. Total air leakage was reduced by 18 percent, removing one-third of a tonne of carbon emissions as a result.
Community Action Awards: Stormwater
Sponsored by the City of Kitchener and City of Waterloo.
City of Kitchener awards:
- Andrea and Oliver Popovic – Residential award
Andrea and Oliver designed and built their home in 2012 with water conservation and stormwater management in mind. Their 66,000 litre cistern collects rooftop water in order to flush the toilets, do the laundry and irrigate their half-acre organic vegetable garden. The remaining stormwater on the property is soaked up by drought tolerant grasses and perennials.
- Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School – Community Engagement award
Thanks to the coordination efforts of teacher Pat Rittinger, the support of staff, the muscle power of roughly 50 students, and the expertise of two local contractors, KCI transformed a soggy drainage ditch beside their football field into a stormwater education centre. Featuring permeable paving, an underground cistern and a rain garden, the site has become an outdoor classroom for eight classes each year. Site tours are also given regularly to school board members and community groups who are interested in considering similar projects on their own properties.
- The Church of St. John the Evangelist – Stormwater Retrofit award
Alan Coughlin spearheaded an effort to install a 1,250 litre rainwater harvesting tank, a solar powered pump, an infiltration gallery and a rain garden on the property to irrigate their extensive gardens and to demonstrate the Church’s “green passion” for environmental stewardship. Future plans include a bubbling fountain that will be the focal point of a contemplation garden.
City of Waterloo Awards:
- Daniel Henderson – Residential award
Daniel was having problems with erosion and ponding in his backyard. He decided to register for a one-on-one site visit from the RAIN program – a RAIN Home Visit. With advice from his RAIN guide and an experienced local contractor, he transformed his property so that all of the water from the back of the house goes into a tiered rain garden. The runoff from the other half of his home is caught in rain barrels.
- Aboriginal Student Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University – Community Engagement award
Melissa approached the RAIN program with a stormwater challenge. Stormwater was making its way into their basement and was also eroding a steep slope on their property. They also needed water to irrigate a garden that they were planning to build as part of a teaching and ceremonial space in their back yard. The stormwater solution was a rain garden on their slope and a cistern with an electric pump. Mino-Kimmuk, as their beautiful new space is called, now plays host to educational workshops and ceremonies for students and community members in all seasons. The site’s stormwater management innovations have been featured in best practice tours, hands-on workshops, on their website and in an educational rain garden video that runs on a loop in the student concourse.
- The Cora Group Inc. – New Build award
Cora owners Manfred and Adrian Conrad wanted to create a flagship building that was sustainable and that would attract tenants with an environmental philosophy. Located in the University of Waterloo’s Research and Technology Park, their 100,000 square foot energy-, water- and stormwater-wise building is in the process of completing its LEED gold certification. All of the building’s rooftop water is captured in a 40,000 litre cistern that is used to flush toilets and irrigate their perennial beds. The property also features four bioswales that soak up and filter all of the runoff from the main parking lot. In order to further protect water quality, they sweep their parking lot regularly and reduce their winter salt use by hiring a Smart About Salt accredited contractor.
Honourable Mentions in the Stormwater Award category:
- Ed Goddard
- Guelph Street Community Garden
- Juanita Metzger and Trent Bauman
- Mansion Street Community Garden
- Pete Tallon and Susan Pequenot
- Mennonite Central Committee
- Ontario Die
- Waterloo Region Museum
Community Action Awards: Education
- Randy Dyck, Director of the Technology Department at Elmira District Secondary School – Energetic Educator award, Secondary School
Randy was one of the first teachers to bring students to REEP House for Sustainable Living after the demonstration house and education centre opened in 2010, and he has been an enthusiastic supporter since. On four occasions, Randy has brought students from Elmira District Secondary School for full-day programs through the Specialist High Skills Major program. He connects the skilled trades with sustainability, an important link that needs to be made as we work to make energy efficiency and water sustainability the norm in our community.
- Mary Louise McAllister, Associate Professor and Faculty of Environment Teaching Fellow at the University of Waterloo – Energetic Educator Award, Post-secondary School
Mary Louise has been a long-time supporter of REEP. Since first bringing one of her classes to REEP House for Sustainable Living in 2013, she has arranged for four additional class trips, bringing a total of 132 students to the education centre. Mary Louise is a strong advocate for experiential learning. This ties in with one the main goals of REEP House: to provide a hands-on experience where students can see classroom concepts brought to life.
Community Action Award Sponsors
A special thanks to our REEP Community Action Award sponsors! Energy awards are sponsored by Kitchener Utilities and Union Gas. RAIN stormwater awards are sponsored by the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo.