An educator for over 40 years, John Staley introduced thousands of young people to the joys of conservation. As the former principal of St. Anne’s secondary school, he helped to initiate the Friends of Pike Creek, a community group dedicated to the cleanup and restoration of the Pike Creek watershed. He has been a longtime member and served as president for many years. He has been a staunch advocate for continued environmental improvements in the Town of Tecumseh.
The Friends of Pike Creek organization was formed in 1999, with great help and leadership from Mr. Staley. Over the past five years along, the group has removed close to 200 tonnes of refuse including parts of trucks, tires stoves, fridges, and other garbage from the watershed. Through John and others, three secondary schools, including his alma mater of St. Anne’s, are instrumental in these cleanups. Under John’s leadership, the Friends of Pike Creek received the Provincial Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism as well as the Windsor/Essex Volunteer Award.
John has also been a longtime advocate for trails in the area, and a few years ago proposed a path along the banks of Pike Creek that could connect the town’s Fairplay Woods with McAuliffe Woods Conservation Area and continue all the way to Lake St. Clair. This continues to be top of mind in hopes of connecting these areas.
His volunteer interests in addition to conservation include helping those in need, and his volunteer roles have included the Ontario Regional Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Downtown Mission and other organizations. He is a recipient of the Knights of Columbus Community Outreach Award, and the Dr. Henri Breault Award for community service, and a past Conservation Award recipient. John and his wife Bev have 11 children and 39 grandchildren, and we are delighted to recognize him as a Conservation Champion for his longstanding commitment to the environment.