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Barbara Barr, Conservation Award (Non-Member) 2004

The OFNC Conservation Award - Non-Member is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution by a non-member in the cause of natural history conservation in the Ottawa Valley, with particular emphasis on activities within the Ottawa District.

Barbara Barr is a very worthy recipient of this award in recognition of her outstanding efforts in speaking on behalf of natural area protection in the Ottawa area through the Regional and municipal planning processes. Barbara is an active, dedicated and highly credible representative for the Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital as well as for the South Keys / Greenboro Community Association.

The thorough, intelligent work that Barbara does reflects her excellent grasp of environmental issues in the Ottawa area as well as her grasp of the way the City works. She is able to be highly effective, for example at meetings of the City of Ottawa's Planning and Environment Committee, by accessing information, preparing and presenting thorough briefs, following-through on outcomes of presentations, and providing a reliable and reputable source of sage advice to policy makers on natural area conservation issues. In this way, she is a highly effective participant during the public consultation phases of land development proposals, a voice that the conservation community can be proud to have speaking on our behalf. Public officials appreciate the value that she adds to the public consultation process and have invited her to participate on various Public Advisory Committees.

Barbara's frequent interventions at planning meetings have served to:

  • sustain the importance of natural area conservation in the minds of elected officials, by keeping it a visible issue;
  • raise the consciousness of Councilors on specific issues, such as how destructive country lot subdivisions are to Rural Natural Features;
  • re-enforce with City staff and Councilors alike the importance of a good Planning Process, and of honoring the commitments, intent and spirit of the Official Plan with respect to Environmental Features and Environmental Impact Statements;
  • demonstrate the value-added of public consultation and participation in the planning process (seek win-win solutions), and
  • influence decisions being made on various land use proposals.

Barbara's interventions have covered a suite of topics, ranging from specific conservation issues such as protection of the Montfort Woods and Leitrim wetland parcels, the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor, proposed rural developments for country lot subdivisions, suggestions to improve the City's planning process and documents and the Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study.

One of Barbara's important characteristics is her optimism and determination to stay with the process. With economic and land development activities booming in the Ottawa area, it takes a solid, reasonable, informed input to try to influence the process, to advocate for Smart Growth.

Through this award, OFNC members recognize the outstanding efforts of Barbara to influence Regional and City planning decisions to include natural area conservation.

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This page was revised on 23 May 2005
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