Adele Poynter Memorial

Award Overview

This award was established in memory of Adele Poynter, founding Chairperson of Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador and chairperson for over a decade. This award is intended to continue Adele’s commitment to community leadership and dedication to the environment and cultural resources of the province by providing financial support to select youth who have demonstrated the same commitment and passion in their academic work, paid work and volunteer activities.

Award Application

2021 Winner

Congratulations to Brittney Garcia, the 2021 winner of the Adele Poynter Memorial Award. 

Brittney is completing her Masters of Environmental Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She holds a B.A. of Environmental Science (Biology). In the summer of 2021, Brittney worked on an urban forestry inventory project as a member of the Conservation Corps NL Green Team with the City of Corner Brook. She is also an active volunteer with the Rotaract Club of Grenfell and Grenfell Campus Food Bank; an executive member of Grenfell Campus; and a member of the Environmental Affairs Committee. Brittney volunteers as a Climate Reality Leader with the Climate Reality Project.

Brittney Garcia_2021

2020 Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer Blundon, the winner of CCNL's 4th annual Adele Poynter Memorial Award.

Jennifer Blundon is studying Ecology and Conservation Biology, and earning a minor in Geography, at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (MUN). Jennifer has volunteered with the Fluvarium in St. John’s, where she learned about the watersheds that flow through the area. She also completed a work term with the Ecological Sciences Section with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at MUN, where she monitored habitats and species in Terra Nova’s Newman Sound, as well as worked with the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research Lab. Most recently, Jennifer worked as the Team Leader for the City of Mount Pearl Green Team with Conservation Corps NL. She spent the summer caring for the City’s community gardens and educating youth on environmental conservation.

Jennifer Blundon (left) and Adele Poynter's daughter Kate at the presentation of the 2020 award.

2019 Winner

Congratulations to Keerthika Ashokkumar, the winner of CCNL's 3rd annual Adele Poynter Memorial Award.


Keerthika Ashokkumar holds a Masters in Technology degree in Water Resources Engineering and a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Karunya University, India and is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Sciences at Memorial University. During her Masters at Memorial University Keerthi has worked with the Moreton’s Harbor community to mitigate the Arsenic contamination in their water supply and with the O’Brien Farm Foundation on water management for the farm. Keerthi has also worked with Saudi Aramco Ltd in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an Associate Consultant on Environmental Impact Assessment Projects before moving to Canada.

Keerthi has a passion for travel, she regularly posts self-produced travel vlogs on YouTube to promote tourism in Newfoundland. In her spare time Keerthi loves to cook and share her food with her friends. She hopes to one day work on organic farming and locally grown produce for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Keerthi Adele Poynter Award Group Photo

Executive Director Darren Feltham and Poynter family present the 3rd annual Adele Poynter Memorial Award to winner Keerthika Ashok Kumar.

2018 Winner

Congratulations to Arielle Przybysz, the winner of CCNL's 2nd annual Adele Poynter Memorial Award.


Arielle Przybysz is currently in her fifth year of an undergraduate program at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and is pursuing a double major in Ecology & Conservation Biology and Geography, and a double minor in Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries Ecology (SAFE) and Psychology. She is also planning to apply for the Arts Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) at Memorial in the Fall 2019 Semester.

Arielle is an exceptional person who has shown a true passion for environmental conservation and Newfoundland culture, and is actively pursuing a career as a Fisheries Scientist. She is an ambitious member of her community and an advocate for those living with disabilities, as shown by her volunteer work with Right Turn Investments, where she helped set up a green team and recycling initiative for clients living with mental illness to promote the sustainability vision of the City of St. John’s. This is also exemplified by her summer position as a Calendar Coordinator at the Independent Living Resource Centre (now Empower: The Disability Resource Centre), where she gathered 42 sponsors for the annual 2014 and 2015 calendar projects and generated approximately $13000 in donations that were used to develop more inclusive activities and initiatives for the centre, such as the weekly paint group for people living with complex needs. 

Arielle has had the privilege to work on many exciting projects that are at the forefront of conservation biology research. Some of these roles include her position as a Plant Pathology Research Affiliate Student at the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where she conducted research in the laboratory to find ways to make Lowbush Blueberry plants grow faster, which has effectively promoted food security in Atlantic Canada. She has also worked as a Smolt Fence Technician Intern at the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador (CCNL) and the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN), where she monitored and collected data on an Atlantic salmon counting fence in the Rennie’s River system to observe how many juvenile Atlantic salmon were swimming out to sea and whether the Atlantic salmon stocks were declining. In addition, she has also had the opportunity to act as an NSERC Fisheries Ecology Research Assistant at the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) at the Fisheries and Marine Institute, where she developed a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analysis to reveal seasonal migration and spawning patterns of Atlantic Halibut in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

The Adele Poynter Memorial Award will be applied towards Arielle’s enrolment in Memorial University’s Ocean Sciences 4000: Scientific Diving Methods Course, which will allow her to conduct field research in the natural habitat of coastal fishes and coral reefs, and will effectively contribute towards her career aspiration as a Fisheries Research Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 

2018 Adele Poynter Winner

Executive Director Darren Feltham presents the 2nd annual Adele Poynter Memorial Award to winner Arielle Przybysz.

2017 Winner

Congratulations to Alexandra Hayward, the winner of CCNL's inaugural Adele Poynter Memorial Award. Alexandra is currently entering her third year of an undergraduate program at MUN majoring in Ecology & Conservation Biology and minoring in Geography.

Alexandra Hayward is a truly outstanding individual that has shown and continues to show strong community leadership and dedication to the environment. A few of her many volunteer roles in connection with environmental volunteerism include: being a member of her high school Environmental Club, engaging the community through the David Suzuki Blue Dot Tour, starting a student newspaper with many environmental articles, and serving as an Environmental Representative for the Biology Undergraduate Society.

Alexandra's employment has also been connected to the environment, with roles such as a WISE SSEP Program where she assisted in puffin research, a MUCEP position that involved in assisting in wolf behaviour research, a restoration and research position with NAACAP and work on two separate CCNL Green Teams.

Alex Hayward – Adele Poynter Memorial Award Winner

VOCM news attended CCNL's 25th anniversary celebration event in August 2017, where the winner of the Adele Poynter Memorial Award was announced.

About Adele

Adele held a B.Sc. (Hon) in Geology from Memorial University and a Master's in Resource Management from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She started out working for Gulf Oil in Calgary and returned to Newfoundland to work for the province's Petroleum Directorate, before being appointed a Commissioner with the Economic Recovery Commission in 1990 by then Premier Clyde Wells. Passionate about the environment and community, one of her proudest achievements while at the ERC was the establishment of the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador.

When the Commission's work ended, Adele worked as a consultant for several years before returning to her roots in Geology as the Executive Director of the Johnson Geo Centre - a position that combined her talents as a geologist and corporate leader and allowed her to spread her enthusiasm for the history and geology of Newfoundland.

Adele's personal interests were numerous and diverse - a woman for all seasons. She loved the ski hill, the tennis court, making jewelry, and singing in choirs, while passionately debating political-economic policies for Newfoundland or serving on national environmental boards such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Adele had a passionate personality, a big heart and a sharp sense of humour that drew people to her. Adele’s positive outlook on the world and industrious and caring nature lives through the work and people of the Conservation Corps to this day.

About the Adele Poynter Memorial Award

The Adele Poynter Memorial Award will be awarded to a youth who is a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador and who has demonstrated an active commitment to the environment or cultural resources of the province through their volunteer/work activities.

A cash prize of $1000 will be awarded to the successful recipient of the award. In accepting the award the recipient will provide a photograph and short bio that will be displayed on CCNL’s Adele Poynter Memorial Award webpage and CCNL’s social media sites. The award winners may list the honour on their resumes.

Award Eligibility

Quality of submission (GPA will not be qualifying criteria); residents of Newfoundland and Labrador; youth between the ages of 16 to 30; individuals who have demonstrated an active commitment to the environment or cultural resources of the province through their volunteer/work activities are encouraged to apply for this award.