SaskOutdoors is proud to honour Cydney Weir and Bernie Melanson by annually distributing an award in their names.
Cydney Weir Award for Youth Environmental Leadership
The Cydney Weir Award for Youth Environmental Leadership was established in 2014 to honor Cydney, a passionate environmental leader who was active in Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, and Rangers, as well as Trek School, the Sheldon Collegiate Outdoor Club, and was enrolled in Environmental Sciences at the University of Regina. Cydney once said, “I think that people living in Saskatchewan don’t really understand or take advantage of what the province we live in is giving us with it being so diverse in wildlife; lots of people don’t even know it’s out there.” It is with this spirit that we recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection of our shared planet and who “understand and take advantage” of the natural places in our province.
Youth environmental leaders ages 13 to 19 living in Saskatchewan
The youth should demonstrate some of the following characteristics:
- Passionate about conserving nature
- Experience backpacking, skiing, building fires, hiking, canoeing, etc.
- Shows potential and interest in pursuing environmental studies or a related field in their future
- Shows commitment to taking action to conserve natural ecosystems and habitat for wild animals
- Interest in working with young children to teach them about the environment
- A love of swimming and canoeing and a general love of water
- An excitement for wildlife photography
The award recipient will receive a Lifetime membership to SaskOutdoors which offers: a subscription to Of Land & Living Skies: A Community Journal on Place, Land and Learning, discounts on outdoor camping and recreation events, opportunities to apply for grants, an e-mail newsletter, and much more! The recipient will also receive a backpack that can be used on multiday backpacking trips.
The nominator will provide a statement fully describing the contribution, passion and achievement of the nominee complete with documents, such as newspaper clippings or photographs if desired.
Nominations will close March 1, 2022. Nominations can be submitted to . Any inquiries can be emailed to .
The Bernie Melanson Award
The Bernadine Marie Melanson Award was set up in her memory to be presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to outdoor and environmental education in Saskatchewan.
It is hoped that the award will allow us to remember and carry forward the work in which she was vitally interested. What kind of work? Professor Bernie Melanson’s career sparkled with teaching expertise, innovative approaches, research skills, and an awareness of the human being matched by few educators in this province. Her interests and contributions spanned many areas: Science, Science Education, Outdoor Education, Teacher Education and methods of In-Service Education. She was active in a broad range of university affairs. She was concerned with skills, knowledge and attitudes of teachers and she was dedicated to the proposition that the best education possible should be provided by the child. Bernie was an energetic member of the Saskatchewan Outdoor Education Association, now known as SaskOutdoors.
This is a lifetime achievement award! The recipients of this award should embody some or all of these criteria:
- Appreciate outdoor spaces in Saskatchewan and share this appreciation with others (either formally as an outdoor educator or informally).
- Be an active participant in outdoor environmental education in Saskatchewan.
- Make outdoor education in Saskatchewan more accessible.
- Be an ambassador and share outdoor values.
The award recipient will receive a Lifetime membership to SaskOutdoors which offers: a subscription to Of Land & Living Skies: A Community Journal on Place, Land, and Learning, discounts on outdoor camping and recreation events, opportunities to apply for funding, an email newsletter, and much more!
Posthumous nominations are permitted.
The nominee does not have to be a member of SaskOutdoors.
The nominator will provide a statement fully describing the contributions and achievements on the nominee complete with documents, such as newspaper clipping or photographs if desired. Pertinent biographical data should be stated briefly.
Nominations will be accepted until March 1, 2022. Nominations can be submitted to . Any inquiries can be emailed to .
Heritage Research Project
In 2017, SaskOutdoors conducted a research project to gain a more in-depth understanding of the educational contributions of its Melanson award recipients. Thanks to a grant from the Saskatchewan Teacher's Federation, we delved into the breadth, depth, and value of the contributions and passions of each award winner, starting with the first award winner in 1978. We also took the opportunity to learn more about the award namesake, Bernadine Melanson.
"I believe that an organization needs to know its history and to appreciate the stories of the passionate individuals who carried it to the present. By recognizing individuals with the Melanson Award, SaskOutdoors has created moments to reflect on the very best the organization has been, and the best it has brought out of its members and other leaders in the movement throughout the province.” (Danica Lorer, Heritage Project Researcher)
Background information, including photos, biography and sound clips, is available for each award winner. We invite you to learn more about the intriguing stories of these individuals!
Melanson Award Winners
1978 – Jack MacKenzie
1981 – Ruth Tempel
1981 – Clare Hume
1982 – Max Abraham
1983 – Barry Mitschke
1984 – John Schaller
1985 – Dr. Chesley Anderson
1986 – Bill Wood
1987 – Lorne Scott
1988 – Mervyn Syroteuk
1990 – Dr. Evelyn Jonescu
1993 – Gordon Silversides
1995 – Dr. Larry Lang
1997 – Fred Heal
1998 – Janet Galger
1999 – Myles Radchenko
2000 – Dr. Paul Hart
2001 – Joan Hodgins
2003 – Louise Jones
2004 – Dan Beveridge
2005 – Judith and Geoff Benson
2006 – Linda Dodd
2007 – Lyle Benko
2008 – Eleanor Bowie
2009 – Yvette Crane
2011 – Peta White
2013 – Kim Archibald
2014 – Lizabeth Nicholls
2015 – Rhonda Phillips
2016 – Jim Taylor
2017 – Lori Johnson
2020 - Lori and Joe Milligan