The London Environmental Network is lucky to have fabulous and passionate staff working on environmental issues in our community. Leah Derikx, our Environmental Projects Coordinator was selected this year as one of the Business London Twenty in the 20's recipients and shares some thoughts on the recognition. 

An excerpt of the Business London page featuring Leah Derikx.What does winning the Business London magazine twenty in their 20's award mean to you?
It means a great deal! I feel very lucky to be working at the London Environmental Network and to be part of the environmental sector's work to make London a more sustainable, liveable city. To be recognized for my contributions feels very rewarding and makes me feel more confident in the work I am doing. It's also a little push to keep the momentum going and remind me that what I'm doing is impactful and makes a difference in my community.

What has been your favourite aspect of working at LEN so far?
My favourite aspect of working at LEN is the people and culture at the organization and in the non-profit sector as a whole. Our group of staff and volunteers is awesome - we all truly believe in the work that we are doing and we all really want to see London become one of the greenest, most resilient cities in Canada. This goal for London really connects us and drives the work that we do, so it's a very positive environment to work in (no pun intended). Even outside of our staff and volunteer bubble, it's really exciting to connect with other non-profits and community groups. We all want to make our communities a better place for everyone to live in.

What are your favourite hobbies?
My favourite hobbies are cooking, baking, and visiting the farmer's markets in London. I am really passionate about eating local food and making all sorts of things from scratch. Food is also a great way to learn more about other cultures and ultimately, connect with people and the planet. I also love crocheting, a hobby that I started almost two years ago. I've made my own market bags, scarves, hats, shirts, and I'm working on a sweater right now!

What environmental solutions are you most inspired with?
So many! I'm inspired by mycoremediation - which is using mycelium (the thread-like parts of fungus) to treat contaminated spaces like water or soil. On a much smaller, more personal scale, I am inspired by at-home solutions like growing pollinator gardens, container gardening, composting, taking the bus or cycling, and shopping secondhand.  Those are activities that we can do at home or in our neighbourhoods to reduce our environmental footprint and learn more about the systems we are a part of.

What is your favourite piece of nature?
Mushrooms! I love fungi and mushrooms and am obsessed with spotting mushrooms anytime I go for a hike. I love taking photos of them and identifying them with my books. They are so beautiful (sometimes weird looking too!) and are such an understated, but essential part of forest ecosystems. I highly recommend that everyone watches the Fantastic Fungi film if they want to see what the fungi hype is all about.
Check out all the recipients here:
Skylar Franke


Executive Director at London Environmental Network