| Apr 02, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - April 2, 2009 Gray Merriam wins Green Cottager Award

Terry Kennedy (l) from the Kennebaec Lake Association congratulates Grey Merriam (r) with his Green Cottager award.

In recognition of his role as founder of the Friends of the Salmon River and chairperson of the Frontenac Stewardship Council, Gray Merriam won the Green Cottager Award at the Cottage Life Show in Toronto last weekend.

Merriam lives with his wife Aileen on Kennebec Lake just north of Arden, at the headwaters of the Salmon River, which runs through Frontenac and L&A Counties before draining into the Bay of Quinte at Shannonville.

The Friends of the Salmon River was founded several years ago, not because the Salmon was in trouble, but in order to educate people who use the river about “the inherent importance of the river to the landscape and the ecosystem”.

The Frontenac Stewardship Council is an independent group that receives provincial support and is devoted to stewardship activities, such as tree planting, landscape preservation, wetland enhancement, spawning bed improvement, stewardship education, etc.

Lately the council has been trying to move away from what Gray Merriam calls “random acts of stewardship” to a more comprehensive role as a county-wide resource that fosters an understanding of the range of natural resources that are the life blood of the county.

“I don’t work on regulations,” Merriam says, “I prefer to use education.”

Gray Merriam taught ecology at Carleton University until he retired and moved to Kennebec Lake in 1999. Since then he has been trying to answer the question “Can you take what you learned as an academic and find an application for it on the ground?”

The Green Cottager award, which came with $2,000 to be donated to a project or group of Merriam’s choice, suggests an affirmative answer to that question. 

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