Bill Dickinson, widely known as one of Muskoka’s greatest voices for nature, has been named the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Wayland Drew Award.
“There is no one, perhaps in the history of this award, that is more deserving than this year’s recipient, Bill Dickinson,” said Scott Young, Executive Director of Muskoka Conservancy. “It is my great honour to work alongside this tremendous volunteer.”
The award is presented by Muskoka Conservancy and is named in honour of Wayland Drew, who was an inspiring teacher, a gifted writer, and a passionate advocate for the preservation of wilderness. Drew earned the respect and admiration of his peers, both locally and in the broader environmental community. Among many honours, Drew received the Lieutenant Governor’s Conservation Award in recognition of his lifelong commitment on behalf of the environment. The Wayland Drew Award is presented to recognize individuals who exemplify environmental leadership by promoting stewardship, conservation, environmental education, and awareness of Muskoka’s natural heritage.
Bill Dickinson is recognized in Muskoka and beyond as one of our best environmental visionaries and a strong voice for nature. He is a highly knowledgeable field biologist whose personal mission is to share what he knows. He has spent his life as a champion of wilderness, of wetlands, forests, lakes, and streams with healthy natural shorelines.
“Muskoka would be a lesser place, and certainly Muskoka Conservancy would be a lesser organization without Bill,” said Young. “Bill has never stopped instilling a sense of natural wonder in the next generation.”
Throughout his career, Bill has done tremendous work serving as director and member for many organizations: Muskoka Watershed Council, Parry Sound Muskoka Stewardship Network, Algonquin Forest Authority, and Muskoka Conservancy, where he is an honourary director. Among many roles, Bill leads Nature Quest expert guided hikes, and coordinates Muskoka Conservancy’s Charlie Esson Bursary for students destined for environmental-focused post-secondary education.
“Bill has the ability to connect with others and engage them in enjoying and protecting the environment,” says Young. “His efforts stand out from others in his extreme commitment and success in creating a positive network of people who keep good environmental causes going.”
Muskoka Conservancy is the nature conservancy of Muskoka that permanently protects 2,700 acres of beautiful land, 60,000 feet of natural shoreline, and 600 acres of wetlands in Muskoka. To learn more about how you can make a difference, visit muskokaconservancy.org.