It's been said you should ask a busy man (or woman) if you want something done.
Shawn McKnight, a local environmental activist, is nothing if not busy.
From helping to organize Sarnia Artwalk, which is receiving a $130,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, to the Return the Landscape, an environmental stewardship program, to "reGen," a program intended to reduce waste through product development and initiatives that may lead to new products, McKnight's footprint in the community continues to be seen.
The Trillium grant, which is for a two-year period, will give the organization the ability to place more emphasis on attracting tourists to Lambton County and provide Canadian artists more places to showcase their work.
But the Artwalk project is just the start of giving back to the local area, says McKnight.
The second project in his radar, the Return the Landscape, is the recipient of a $140,000 Trillium grant. McKnight and Larry Cornelis are organizers of the initiative.
McKnight is also working on "reGen," an initiative he hopes will take root as ways of reducing waste and perhaps even designing and creating opportunities to make new products from material previously considered waste. Local writer and activist Darren Hakker is working with McKnight on the reGen project.
McKnight says he's hoping to create opportunities for dialogue and initiatives that will improve the area in a very real sense.
"There are opportunities that will all help us to create a sustainable world," he adds.
With Artwalk, the goal is arguably much more inclusive.
"Its purpose is really to get the community together," says McKnight, one of the organizers of the annual event. "In doing so, they'll share experiences, ideas and concerns and celebrate through the arts."
McKnight says tackling opportunities as diverse as Artwalk, Return the Landscape and reGen are all important.
"We've recognized pretty early on that environmental issues go across the board," he said. "It's not just one group that can address the problems. You need the whole community involved."
McKnight can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com