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Board of Directors

Ava Ross, Chair

Sylvia Bowman, Secretary

Abdulla Abbas

Mike O’Hara

Susan Sigrist

Wei Li


Gloria Marsh, Executive Director

Patty Ella, Accountant

YREA 2015 annual report

(YREA 2014 annual report)

(YREA 2013 annual report)

(YREA 2012 annual report)

(YREA Annual Report 2011)

(YREA Annual Report 2010)

About YREA

‘Whatever befalls the earth,

Befalls the children of the earth.’

Chief Seattle

Staying conscious of the interconnection between all things can help us think of our choices in terms of their impact on the environmental and our natural resources. We need to ask ourselves these questions:

  • Where is my food grown?
  • Is it grown locally, using sustainable agriculture?
  • Is it organic?
  • What materials are my clothes made of?
  • Were these clothes made by people receiving fair wages?
  • Is the car I drive burning fossil fuels efficiently?
  • Am I carpooling whenever possible or using the bus or a bike?
  • Have I taken measures to retrofit my home so it is more energy efficient?
  • What can I do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

    YREA continuously explores these and many more questions.


  • To raise awareness of the impact of toxic substances on the environment and on human health and to campaign for the elimination of these substances
  • To identify and raise awareness of environmental issues within York Region
  • To promote healthy lifestyle alternatives through presentations, workshops, education and outreach
  • To seek ecologically sound and sustainable solutions in areas of our concern
  • To initiate projects designed to protect and improve the quality of the environment of York Region
  • To work with other government and non-government agencies, volunteers and members of the community to achieve our objectives


Through our mandate we strive to:

  • Identify and raise awareness of environmental concerns which impact York Region and beyond
  • Inspire and initiate ecologically sound and sustainable solutions to common community concerns that protect and improve the quality of the environment of York Region
  • Promote healthy and environmentally sustainable personal lifestyle choices
  • Effectively influence public policy and community behavioural changes
  • The York Region Environmental Alliance (YREA) is a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization (#84559 0553 RR0001). Our hands-on volunteer board of directors hails from the far reaches of York Region and approves, oversees, and is directly involved with YREA projects. We have a dedicated membership and volunteer base. Three part-time staff administer our day-to-day activities.

    Formed in 1999 to initially campaign against the cosmetic use of pesticides, the York Region Environmental Alliance (YREA) has continually expanded its mandate to address ecological issues that impact our health and the health of our environment.

    The York Region Environmental Alliance has a strong record of working to influence public policy and community behaviour through a number of initiatives. They include:

    Informs people of issues which pertain to the health and sustainability of their communities and the environment and gives a voice to other like-minded organizations.

    YREA is introducing and raising awareness of the benefits of industrial hemp farming to farmers and other stakeholders in York Region and surrounding areas.

    YREA has initiated biochar research field trials to gather scientific data in an effort to replicate in Ontario the positive results found worldwide. YREA plans to subsequently establish a non-profit biochar production venture, making biochar locally available.

    YREA published a booklet and created a workshop to help education consumers about their day to day purchasing decisions. From paper and cleaning supplies to batteries and clothing, SHOP provides guidance on how to make sustainable shopping choices.

    A YREA publication which demonstrates how to measure human impact on the natural environment. Through making small but significant changes people are shown how they can reduce their demand on the world’s resources. YREA developed a comprehensive, educational presentation on this subject which has been presented to high school and adult audiences.

    YREA continues to educate against the cosmetic use of pesticides and provides input at the municipal and provincial level. Our organic lawn care workshops, in partnership with municipalities and retailers are held regularly throughout York Region. Watch our Events listings for the next workshop near you.