Community EcoGarden founder Deydey wins national award
Dawn Deydey, founder of Fernie’s innovative Community EcoGarden, has received national recognition for her incredible work engaging the community around food security and sustainability issues.
Deydey is the recipient of the Earth Day Canada 2013 Individual Hometown Heroes Award, The Hometown Heroes Award Program, established in 2004, recognizes and celebrates environmental leaders who foster meaningful, long-term community awareness and action.
As part of the prize Dawn also received a $10,000 award which she is donating to the Wildsight Elk Valley branch.
“Dawn is extremely deserving of this award,” says Wildsight Executive Director John Bergenske. “She has worked tirelessly to make the Community EcoGarden the huge success that it is, and she is an inspiration to many.”
As coordinator of the EcoGarden, Deydey designed, implemented and managed the garden initiative in its first four years. The garden is now coordinated by a volunteer advisory committee, in which Dawn continues to play an integral role, and consists of 24 garden plots, greenhouse and demonstration gardens that are used by community groups, schools and individuals.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with impassioned committed volunteers to help sustainability sprout in Fernie,” said Deydey. “Growing the EcoGarden over the last 10 years has resulted in more than dirt under my fingernails – it constantly fills me with inspiration.”
Deydey works with other volunteers to facilitate a wide range of events and activities at the EcoGarden, including educational programming for students, an Apple Share program to improve the utilization of locally grown apples, seed swaps, hands-on workshops about growing and preserving fresh foods, interactive gardening experiences for families and children, a school salad bar program that feeds hundreds of students daily and promotes the consumption of locally grown food, and composting and vermicomposting workshops.
In addition to the EcoGarden, Deydey is involved with a variety of volunteer-based environmental community projects. She is the Community Program Coordinator for Wildsight Elk Valley Branch, and the co-founder and coordinator of the popular Earth Day: Trashy but Flashy Fashion Show, an annual event that inspires the community to fuse trash and fashion by creating costumes from trash and recycled materials. Dawn is also the program coordinator for Beyond Recycling, a school-based environmental education program in schools throughout the East and West Kootenay.
Deydey served on the Environment Sector Advisory Committee for the Columbia Basin Trust for seven years, and is a Director and a founding member of Advocates for Local Living, a group of volunteers that manages several action-oriented sustainability initiatives.