Green Hearts Award

Green Hearts Award is a new accolade by GNN designed to honour the most inspiring figures in Toronto’s environmental scene. This award celebrates the green neighbours whose leadership, impactful work, and profound knowledge inspire and mobilize our community towards greater sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Award Purpose and Significance

The Green Hearts Award was conceived as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding individuals and groups in our community who not only champion environmental causes but also share their invaluable knowledge and experiences to inspire action. It’s our way of saying thank you to those who lead by example and push for positive change in every corner of Toronto.

Criteria and Eligibility


  • Leadership in environmental initiatives within the Toronto community.
  • Significant impact on promoting sustainability and conservation efforts.
  • Ability to inspire and share knowledge with others, fostering a more environmentally conscious community.


  • The award is open to all GNN members within Toronto and the GTA who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the environment through their work, projects, or advocacy.
  • Nominees should have been actively involved in their initiative(s) within the past year.

Nomination Process

Recognize a “green heart” in your community by nominating them for the Green Hearts Award. Our nomination form is simple to complete, requiring only the nominee’s details and a description of their environmental leadership and impact. Nominations close on December 31st, with our winner celebrated in a special ceremony and announcement in February.

Award Details

  • Recipients of the Green Hearts Award will receive a unique, eco-friendly certificate, to honour their commitment to a sustainable future.
  • A profile feature on GNN’s website and across our social media platforms, spotlighting their work and achievements.
  • A monetary contribution will be made to a group close to the awardee’s heart to support their environmental project.

2024 Awardee

Helen Mills

Helen Mills has brought her knowledge, wisdom, ideas, and infectious enthusiasm to the work of Toronto Green Community (TGC) since it held its very first meeting in 1995.  She has served as a board member, and as the creator or co-creator behind the first Seedy Saturday in Toronto, the Eglinton Park Community Garden, the Green Garden Visit. She is also the creator and driving force behind the Lost Rivers Project.

Over the last 30 years, Lost Rivers has researched, mapped, and shared local in-depth knowledge of Toronto’s watersheds, lost rivers, our connections with land and water in the city, and ways we can intervene to improve the urban landscape. Through walks and workshops–led by Helen, other Lost Rivers members, and hundreds more volunteers–the Lost Rivers Project has informed and inspired tens of thousands of participants. 

Helen has touched many more through her founding role in social enterprises like the Green Garden Visit, Rivers Rising, RAINscapeTO, and other partnerships and collaborations. 

Helen was also among the creative minds that imagined a network of green neighbours groups in 2016. Her guiding wisdom has helped make GNN what it is today. 

GNN is so very pleased to make a donation to Lost Rivers Walks in Helen’s honour.