The Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation recently awarded Dyke Williams with its Wilson Stewardship Award. The award recognized his longtime service to the Quetico Superior Foundation, his leadership of the foundation’s white pine recovery program, and his commitment and promotion of youth education in areas of water and the natural environment.
The selection committee told Williams, a resident of Seagull Lake in Minnesota, and Kenora, Ontario, that it appreciated “the bi-national nature of your influence, initiatives and visionary projects at ‘both ends’ of the watershed, in the USA and Canada.”
A few years ago, in an interview with Wilderness News, Williams explained why he’s passionate about the White Pine Initiative, a Quetico Superior Foundation program designed to encourage the planting and caring for large numbers of white pine and other species: “The white pine has such a majestic presence in the northwoods, but they’re shrinking in numbers and at risk of disappearing. They can’t reproduce as quickly as they are being harvested or destroyed by pests and disease, like white pine blister rust.”
The Wilson Stewardship Award recognizes outstanding achievements of individuals, groups, or projects that are making made a significant contribution to environmental stewardship and sustainability of the Rainy-Lake of the Woods watershed ecosystem, through:
- Education, outreach, civic engagement and participation in stewardship initiatives or program development.
- Projects or programs focused on protection, restoration, preservation or reduction of environmental impact and development of sustainable practices.
This award is named in honour of its first recipient, Gerry Wilson, in recognition of her contributions to lake stewardship during her 16 years as the former Executive Director of the Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association. Gerry’s contributions include developing lake stewardship and monitoring programs, lake stewardship education and civic engagement, organizing septic inspection programs, starting a tree planting program and organizing citizen volunteer monitoring as part of the Ontario Lake Partner Program. In addition, Gerry played a significant role in bringing scientists to Lake of the Woods to initiate water quality studies of the lake and also helped organize the first International Lake of the Woods Water Quality Forum in 2004.