Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Press Release

Submitted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

June 25, 2009

2009 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards presented to two local students set to attend Sir Sandford Flemming College Environmental Technology program

The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards, supported by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN), are awarded annually to local high school graduates planning to pursue post-secondary studies in an aspect of nature or an environmental field. Both the young 2009 recipients of the award, André Drapeau and Scott Quackenbush, were on hand outside the Carleton Place Canoe Club June 23 rd to receive their $500 bursaries, as well as congratulations from Cliff Bennett and Joyce Clinton, President of MVFN.

Both nature bursary award recipients have been accepted into the Sir Sandford Flemming College Environmental Technology program offered at Flemming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ontario.

Nature Bursary winner André Drapeau, is a resident of Beckwith and a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Carleton Place. He has acquired a strong appreciation for issues related to the environment during his high school years and considers his large family at home to be very “green.” An advocate of environmentally safe disposal of computer supplies, he operates a small home-based business to promote the Ontario Electronics Stewardship programme. André hopes his college education will hold him in good stead to further his career interests in environmental sciences research and improvement of systems.

Scott Quackenbush, also a resident of Beckwith, has attended Carleton Place High School for the past four years and has always been interested and concerned with environmental issues. This summer, he plans to work as a volunteer with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in their City Stream Watch Programme. Upon completion of the 2-3 year Environmental Technology program at Flemming College he would like to continue in the post-graduate Natural Resources Law Enforcement course towards fulfillment of one of his future ambitions i.e. work as a Conservation Officer or an Environmental Officer.

The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award was established in 2007 by MVFN members and friends and family of naturalist and retired educator Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The annual bursary programme is supported by MVFN, and application and other details may be found on MVFN’s website at

Congratulations to both of this years award winners and best wishes for your studies!

Photo 1: 2009 Nature Bursary winner André Drapeau accepts award from MVFN President Joyce Clinton outside the Carleton Place Canoe Club Photo:Pauline Donaldson

Andre Drapeau

Photo 2: Cliff Bennett (right) makes the presentation of a Nature Bursary to Carleton Place High School student Scott Quackenbush outside at the Carleton Place Canoe Club. Photo – Pauline Donaldson

Scott Quackenbush

Continue reading...

Press Release

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

Nature bursary awarded to local student pursuing environmental studies next year

The 2008 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award was awarded June 25th to Jasen Brousseau, a West Carleton High School student. The bursary, awarded for the first time last year, is awarded annually to a student from the Mississippi Valley who is moving on to post-secondary studies in an environmental field. Jasen has been accepted into Carleton University’s Environmental Studies BA programme.


L-R: MVFN President Mike McPhail, Jasen Brousseau, Cliff Bennett

Jasen Brousseau has always been interested and concerned with environmental issues. He started an environmental friendly lawn and garden care business using as many green techniques as possible. He especially took time to educate his clients and neighbours of the harmful effects of pesticides and the safe alternatives which could be used. Brousseau has also incorporated many environmentally friendly practices into his own lifestyle, eating mostly organic foods, composting religiously and using his bike or walking rather than driving.

The Carleton University Environmental Studies programme should help provide Jasen with knowledge and experience needed to meet his goals of entering political and/or governmental work as a champion of our natural world. “I really want to work towards encouraging an attitudinal change with people and government policy”, stated Jasen in his application for the bursary award. “We all know that the planet is going through some terrible environmental problems right now and I want to be part of the solutions to help fix these problems”.

The award was presented Wednesday in Almonte by Cliff Bennett, head of the bursary committee and Eastern Regional Director for Ontario Nature, and Mike McPhail, President of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN). MVFN is a supporter of the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award, which was established last year by MVFN members and friends and family of Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

Photo 1: Local student Jasen Brousseau (centre) is the 2008 recipient of the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award presented in Almonte by MVFN President Mike McPhail (left) and Cliff Bennett (right). Photo: Eileen Hennemann

Continue reading...

Two area students are first recipients of Cliff Bennett Nature Bursaries

In 2007, the first Cliff Bennett Nature Fund Bursaries were awarded to Mackenzie Daley of Almonte and Katie Linton of Carleton Place.

L-R: Cliff Bennett, MVFN President Mike McPhail, Mackenzie Daley, and Katie Linton

Details  were published in an MVFN press release  published July 17, 2007 in the Lanark Era. The above photo was originally published also in that issue.

IMG_3965 (1176x1032)

Continue reading...