Helping local organizations recognize good watershed stewards
Muskoka Watershed Council is proud to sponsor the Doug Cross Stewardship Recognition Program to help local community and lake organizations across Muskoka’s watersheds recognize the dedication, effort, and good stewardship activities of their members.
How it Works
Local non-profit community and lake organizations in Muskoka Watershed Council’s area of interest can register to receive a Recognition Package to award to a deserving member of your organization. Each Recognition Package contains a Certificate of Recognition and a $50 gift card to Hidden Habitat native plant nursery in Kilworthy.
Eligible organizations can register to receive a Recognition Package by filling out the form below during the registration period, which is open from January 1-31 each year. Recognition Packages will be mailed out in February once the registration period closes, and must be awarded in the same year that they are received.
Your organization is free to determine how you select a winner, as long as you meet the general criteria required by MWC. For example, your organization may outright select the winner or you may solicit nominations from your membership and then select the winner based on the nomination process. Once a winner is selected, your organization needs to submit the name and a brief explanation of why that member was chosen (using the form below) to MWC for possible inclusion on the MWC website.
Your organization can select who to recognize as a good watershed steward provided that the recipient exhibits one or more of the following criteria:
- Demonstrates good stewardship practices on their own property, for example (but not limited to):
- Using native vegetation and natural materials in plantings, paths, and landscaping.
- Maintaining aquatic, shoreline and/or terrestrial vegetation.
- Using effective practices to control erosion and treat stormwater runoff.
- Conserving water by using a rain barrel, reducing lawn and garden watering, installing low-flow household products, etc.
- Using dark-sky friendly lighting fixtures, lower wattage, energy efficient light bulbs, and motion sensors on outside lighting to prevent light pollution.
- Enrolling in the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program to promote healthy forests or the Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program to protect wetlands.
- Promotes or encourages good stewardship practices in the community.
- Helps monitor environmental health through citizen science and/or community or association programs.
- Implements Best Management Practices when developing or redeveloping, including Low Impact Development features.
Terms and Conditions
- Only not-for-profit organizations within MWC’s area of interest are eligible to receive a Recognition Package.
- Organizations with existing stewardship award or recognition programs are not eligible to participate.
- MWC reserves the right to limit the number of Recognition Packages available each year if demand exceeds supply. If this occurs, MWC will take into consideration the order in which requests for Recognition Packages were received and whether an organization has previously received a Recognition Package.
- An organization may only receive one Recognition Package annually and must distribute the Recognition Package to a recipient within the same calendar year.
- An organization may request a Recognition Package each year.
- An organization will be disqualified from participating in the program if the organization doesn’t fulfill the requirements set forth (i.e. doesn’t give it to a deserving recipient as set out in the criteria, doesn’t provide the name and reason they were selected to MWC as required, etc).
- MWC reserves the right revise the terms and conditions at any time, including changing the requirements for organizations to be eligible to participate in the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is my organization eligible if we’re not a lake association?
Yes! If you are a not-for-profit organization within MWC’s area of interest and don’t already have a stewardship award or recognition program, you can register for a Recognition Package. You don’t need to be a water-related organization.
We have many watershed stewards on our organization. Can we ask for more than one Recognition Package at a time?
No. Only one Recognition Package per organization per year.
We got a Recognition Package last year. Can we get another one this year?
Yes. Eligible organizations are able to request to receive a Recognition Package each year.
Do we need to know who the recipient is when we request a Recognition Package?
No. The Certificate of Recognition includes space to write in the name of the recipient once they are selected. Once the recipient has been announced, the organization must send the recipient’s name and a brief summary of why they were selected to MWC for possible inclusion on the MWC website.
How do we choose a recipient?
Each organization is free to choose a recipient in whatever way works best for the organization, as long as the recipient demonstrates good watershed stewardship and meets at least one of the criteria listed in the “Criteria” section above. Your organization can simply select a recipient or you can ask for nominations and select a recipient based on the nomination process. If you have other ideas for how to select a recipient, please contact us at [email protected] to discuss.
How do we request a Recognition Package?
Eligible organizations can request a Recognition Package during the month of January by filling out and submitting the form below. Information you will need to provide includes the name of the organization, the name of the contact person, a mailing address to send the Recognition Package to, and the method you plan to use to select a recipient. You will also have the option to upload your organization’s logo to be included on the Certificate of Recognition alongside the MWC logo.
What’s included in the Recognition Package?
The Recognition Package includes a Certificate of Recognition in a presentation folder and a $50 gift card to Hidden Habitat native plant nursery. The gift card can be redeemed online or in store to purchase native plants. The Certificate of Recognition features a photo by a local artist and is dated with the year. It includes the MWC logo and the name and/or logo of your organization. It also includes space for you to write in the name of the recipient.
When will we receive our Recognition Package?
Recognition Packages will be mailed out in February once the registration period closes.
Are we guaranteed to receive a Recognition Package?
No. If the demand for Recognition Packages exceeds the number available, MWC will select which organizations receive a Recognition Package by taking into consideration the order in which requests for Recognition Packages were received and whether an organization has previously received a Recognition Package.
Is there a cost for the Recognition Package?
No. MWC received a generous donation from the estate of Doug Cross and these funds are being used to support the Doug Cross Stewardship Recognition Program.
How do we let you know who the recipient is?
Once a winner is selected, your organization is required to submit the name and a brief explanation of why that member was selected to MWC for possible inclusion on the MWC website. Use the Recipient Info form below to submit the required information to MWC. Failure to provide this information to MWC in a timely manner will result in your organization being ineligible to participate in the program.
Why is Hidden Habitat the only nursery available?
The number of native plant nurseries in our area of interest open to the public is very limited, therefore MWC has chosen to work with Hidden Habitat initially. MWC will consider expanding the program to include other local nurseries if they can demonstrate that they have an adequate selection of native plants available and that they don’t sell invasive landscaping species like Periwinkle, Goutweed, Lily of the Valley or Miscanthus grass. If your nursery would like to participate in the program, please contact us at [email protected].
Hidden Habitat native plant nursery carries an wide selection of native plants and provides great advice for customers who are unsure of what plants will thrive on their property. Hidden Habitat gift cards can be used to order plants online or in person at the nursery located on Southwood Road in Kilworthy. https://hiddenhabitat.square.site/.
About Doug Cross
Doug Cross sat on the Muskoka Watershed Council from 2004 to 2008 as a representative for the Bracebridge Community. During his time on MWC, he used his extensive background and expertise in media communications to help get MWC’s messages out to the community. As Chair of MWC’s Communications Committee, he spearheaded the development of the Best Practices Program and secured a number of PSAs on local radio stations in support of the program.
Even after stepping down from MWC in 2008, Doug was a frequent visitor to the MWC office and attended many MWC events. He was a great advocate for MWC in the community and he continued his support with a generous donation to MWC upon his passing on January 25, 2020 at the age of 76. MWC is proud to name the Stewardship Recognition Program after Doug Cross as a way to encourage members of our communities to keep our watersheds beautiful.
Register for a Recognition Package
The registration period for 2023 is open from January 1 to January 31.