For decades Dorothy Dickson has been on mother nature’s side.
Her dedication was recognized on Tuesday night at the eighth annual Women of Excellence Gala when she was the recipient of both the Environment Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dickson, who lived in Calgary before moving to an acreage near Red Deer in 1985 and into Red Deer in 2003, said her connection to Red Deer went back to the 1970s when she chaired a committee on renewable resources for the Lougheed government.
“There was some question of the provincial government taking over the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. I came and looked at Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary and advised the provincial government to back off,” said Dickson to the roar of applause during her acceptance speech for the Environment Award, her first award of the night at the gala held at Sheraton Red Deer.
“It was particularly pleasing to me to see it was a financial institution that was sponsoring the Environmental Award. I think if the economists and ecologists talked to each other and got together more, we could do a lot towards helping solve some (problems),” she said earning more accolades from the more than 400 people in attendance.
Women of Excellence awards are presented by Red Deer & District Community Foundation to those who have been role models to other women and girls.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honours women who have made a profound difference in the lives of those around her.
Dickson is a long-time, staunch environmental advocate who has worked long and hard to protect national and provincial parks and natural areas. She contributed to Red Deer Vision 2020 and other city planning documents, has been involved in recycling and used pesticide container collection programs, and worked to get more natural history into schools.
Dickson was the 1997 recipient of the prestigious Douglas H. Pimlott Award and Honorary Lifetime Membership with the Canadian Nature Federation.
Other recipients of Women of Excellence awards presented Tuesday included:
• Elna Edgar, of Red Deer County, received the Agriculture Award.
• Ellen Corea, of Lacombe, took home the Arts, Culture and Heritage Award.
• Arlene Hjertaas, of Red Deer, received the Athletics, Recreation and Fitness Award.
• Michelle Andrishak, of Rocky Mountain House, was given the Business and the Professions Award.
• Tanya Schur, of Red Deer, took home the Community Building Award.
• Linda Moore Martin, of Red Deer, received the Education and Training Award.
• Brenda Kolasa, of Red Deer, was given the Entrepreneurship Award.
• Brenda Rebman, of Red Deer, received the Health and Wellness Award.
• Ethel Suarez, of Red Deer, took home the Human Services Award.
• Kaitlin Grovet, of Lacombe, was given the Young Woman of the Excellence Award.