Awards program celebrates youth community leaders in Ontario and B.C.

VANCOUVER | Traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations & TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples – and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — The 2022 Future Ground Prize winners were announced last night at a virtual celebration featuring David Suzuki, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and other special guests.

  • The Grand Prize was awarded to Climate Education Reform BC as chosen by a jury of renowned environmentalists and youth activists.
  • The People’s Choice Prize for Ontario was awarded to Children’s Land Canada, a child-centred, -owned and -driven initiative in Southern Ontario, with 1,167 votes.
  • The People’s Choice Prize for British Columbia was awarded to Seaview Stands Up, an elementary school initiative from Lantzville, B.C., with 1,285 votes.
  • The Rising Star Prize was awarded to the LOLA Bees apiary and garden group in London, Ontario. The Rising Star Prize was introduced this year to celebrate the youngest change-makers (aged 5 to 14).

“The Future Ground Prize shows what’s possible when communities of passionate people mobilize behind a shared vision for a better tomorrow,” David Suzuki Foundation director of engagement and mobilization Megan Hooft said. “This year’s focus on celebrating youth leaders was especially inspiring, as young people are leading the charge on so many critical environmental and social issues — often inspiring their families and communities to get involved.”

The virtual celebration was hosted by environmental researcher, author and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women recipient Naila Moloo and included a special dance performance by Butterflies in Spirit. The four winners got to present their projects to David Suzuki and Foundation executive director Severn Cullis-Suzuki, and each was awarded prize money from Desjardins.

“Desjardins is committed to recognizing individuals who are building a better future for all. The Future Ground Prize has been such a great platform for supporting grassroots action and uplifting groups creating positive impact in our communities,” said Pauline D’Ambroise, vice-president, sustainable development, and secretary general of Desjardins Group. “We are so proud to reward the efforts and successes of these young agents of change. These four winning groups are more than deserving of this achievement.”

Details about the 2023 Future Ground Prize awards program will be announced in late 2022.

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For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Rebecca Kram:, 705-955-4039

Winner quotes:

“To adequately protect our communities from the climate emergency, education systems must teach about climate solutions, how to hope and how to work together to build a better future,” said Naomi Leung, Climate Education Reform BC coordinator. “We are grateful that our work is being recognized, and we invite you to join us. Climate justice education is the future and that future must start now.”

“Seaview Elementary’s goal is to educate our students about the importance of environmental issues, and teach them that they have the ability and obligation to make positive environmental changes in their individual lives, communities and globally,” said teacher and spokesperson Jolanie Canty of Seaview Takes a Stand. “The work of the David Suzuki Foundation and Desjardins, plus this Future Ground Prize award, help us continue to help students find their voices and passion around environmental stewardship, so they can become leaders in reshaping the world with an outlook toward sustainability and care. Thank you so much for this support.”

“Children’s Lands Canada creates environments where children and youth nurture life and biodiversity by making decisions and taking actions that create well-being for themselves, other people and the natural world,” said Jackie Ryan of Children’s Land Canada. “We are grateful to receive this David Suzuki Foundation Future Ground Prize People’s Choice award, and to be a part of a movement that recognizes and honours the insights and wisdom of young people.”

“Our team is honoured to receive the Rising Star Award, and thankful for this opportunity to engage more youth in hands-on sustainability education,” said Marianne Griffith of LOLA Bees. “Getting kids involved in natural beekeeping empowers them to become pollinator protectors in their community and beyond. Thank you to the David Suzuki Foundation, Desjardins and Nature’s Way Canada!”

To learn more about the Future Ground Prize, visit


The David Suzuki Foundation ( | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including Indigenous leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. We envision a day where we all act on the understanding that we are one with nature.

The 2022 special youth edition of the Future Ground Prize in Ontario and British Columbia was presented by Desjardins and supported by Nature’s Way. The winners represent a diversity of environmental projects and initiatives carried out by young people inspired to take action. They are being recognized for their mobilization efforts, ambition, enthusiasm and the hope they instil in their communities.