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Congratulations to local students awarded nature bursaries in spring of 2018

2018 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award Winners

In May 2018, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Committee awarded bursaries of $1000 to three graduating high school students, Sophie Anderson, Kaitlyn Johnson, and Shaily Walker. In addition, as part of a pilot project, continued bursaries of $500 were awarded to the two bursary award winners from 2017, Makayla Giles, and Andrew Van Campen.

“I am very pleased to learn about the interests and ambitions of these fine students, and hope that this award may help and encourage young people today to become environmental leaders tomorrow” said Cliff Bennett. “I consider it an investment in our environmental future.”

The successful applicants this year intend to pursue studies in Biology at Ottawa University, Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering at Carleton University, and Ecosystem Management at Fleming College.

Congratulations to all our 2018 winners!

Winners of the 2018 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards (L-R): Kaitlyn Johnson, Shaily Walker and Sophie Anderson, were presented with their awards by Cliff Bennett at MVFN’s May 2018 meeting in Almonte, ON. photo by Brenda Boyd

About the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund

The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary fund, which supports the award program, was established in 2007 by Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ members and friends of retired educator Cliff Bennett, for his 75th birthday. Since 2007, more than $16,000 has been awarded to 21 deserving students from high schools in our area.

Previous award winners have continued their education after high school in diverse fields including zoology, ecosystem management, marine biology, environmental sciences and engineering and technology, at both the university and community college level.

For further information about the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards, please visit the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary page on MVFN’s website, or contact Michael Macpherson, Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Committee Chair, at 613-256-3043 or by email at

MVFN encourages interested high school students to visit their school student services offices soon for application forms,  or to seek out more information at our website or by contacting Michael Macpherson, Chairperson for the awards program!


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