The Regional Municipality Of York

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Grade 5 students take front row seats in nature’s classroom

Olympian and Clean Air Champion Donna Vakalis shares her passion about improving the environment

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York will join Clean Air Champion Donna Vakalis to help Grade 5 students from Mount Joy Public School in the City of Markham learn about the importance of protecting our environment in celebration of Earth Day.

York Region’s annual Earth Day school outreach program provides students with the opportunity to participate in activities teaching them the importance of forests, recycling, water resources and clean air.


Donna Vakalis, Clean Air Champion and Canadian Olympic Pentathlon Team member
Mount Joy Public School Grade 5 students
York Region staff


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre
16389 Highway 48, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville


9:10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. – Keynote address by Clean Air Champion Donna Vakalis
10:35 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. – Interactive educational sessions
12:50 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. – Guided forest hike with York Region forestry staff

All events are open to the media.

Clean Air Champions represent the National Team, Olympic and Paralympic athletes from across Canada passionate about improving air quality. Donna Vakalis, pentathlon competitor at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games, 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, will share her experience of championing for a more sustainable environment.

This year Earth Day takes place on April 22 and is themed Environmental and Climate Literacy. York Region is proud to support Earth Day Canada’s goal of planting 7.8 billion trees, one for every person on the planet, by 2020. Canada’s contribution to this worldwide goal is 35 million trees. Residents are encouraged to help reach this target by visiting and taking part in York Region’s subsidized tree planting programs by planting one or more trees. For information on York Region’s environmental programs, please visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 595,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at


Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 77272, Cell: 905-251-6416

Nature's classroom; York Region; Donna Vakalis The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release