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Kate Mizenka named winner of Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

Mizenka is honoured for her work with Elk Root Conversation
Kate Mizenka is the latest recipient of the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

The family and friends of the late Suzy Hamilton are pleased to announce that Kate Mizenka is being honoured with this year’s Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award.

The cash award is presented annually to a female-identified environmental activist in the West Kootenay region, who embodies the environmental and social activism for which Hamilton was known.

Mizenka is being recognized for her passionate and dedicated work with Elk Root Conversation. As an advocate for wild pollinators and native plant conservation, Mizenka has created the Sustainable Apiary Model and designed the Pollinator and Native Plan Educational Demonstration Gardens with Elk Root Conversation. She is regularly invited to speak at engagements to promote the protection of wild bees and planting native plants.

“It was such a sweet surprise and an honour to receive this award. It is a privilege to be a steward of the environment on the unceded territory of the Sinixt Peoples at the confluence of the Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers where ERC is located,” said Mizenka.

“It is with much gratitude that I accept this award and follow in the steps of Suzy Hamilton, standing side by side with so many incredible women and all people who support our community and the environment in the West Kootenay Region. They all deserve this award for without their support I would not be receiving it.”

The committee is also honouring award nominee Lorna Visser, with the previously introduced extension of the award meant to recognize the enduring dedication of a female-identified champion of the environment.

Visser was nominated for her work with the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology. She has helped to organize groups to restore wetlands in the Slocan Valley and tirelessly advocates on behalf of our ecosystems. All of Visser’s work is done with respectful co-ordination with local Indigenous elders, whose land she helps protect.

Additional nominees for this year’s award were Sally Hammond, Teresa Smed, and Andrea Fox. A big thank you to all who put forward a nomination for this award.

The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund continues to grow and with it, the size of the annual award. Donations are warmly welcomed and can be made through the Osprey Foundation.