‘I have no words’: Order of Nova Scotia awarded to youngest recipient to date
HALIFAX -- The list for this year’s Order of Nova Scotia has been released and among the recognizable names includes the youngest recipient to date.
Sixteen-year-old environmental activist Stella Bowles has spent years bringing attention and action to help clean up the Lahave River in Nova Scotia.
It’s a passion she’s had since the age of 11 when she learned about the raw sewage being dumped into the river.
“And Stella was like, ‘They’re doing what?'” said Stella’s mother Andrea Conrad.
Stella knew she was getting an important phone call a few weeks ago, but what about, she was not sure.
“And she informed me that I was the youngest winner of the Order of Nova Scotia and that I would be receiving this honour and I was absolutely speechless,” explained Stella.
“I had no words. I have no words to explain how honoured I am to have received this.”
The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour of the province.
The honour, established in 2001, encourages excellence by recognizing Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions and achievements.
“She has so many questions about the river and we had no answers for her so we thought this would be a great science fair project,” said Conrad.
But Stella took it one step further, working to get her local community on her side.
Eventually, all three levels of government agreed to put the work and money in to help clean the river.
“There were 600 illegal start pipes, so flushing their sewage right into the bay, and they have replaced about 200 in the past year, two years,” said Stella.
“So by 2023 they’re hoping to have all of them replaced.”
Stella still isn’t sure who nominated her for the Order of Nova Scotia honour but she’s hoping to find out soon so she can personally thank them.
“So Sidney Crosby and Ellie Black are the only other youth under 25 who have won this honour, which is really exciting,” said Stella.
Stella will receive her award on Nov. 24.