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News Releases from Region 05

President’s Environmental Youth Award Winners Focus on Gardening and Microgrants

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
Kimberly George, Chicago Youth Centers Nature Team (Kimberly.george@chicagoyouthcenters.org)
Sue Maki, Carmel Green Teen (smaki@carmel.in.gov)

For Immediate Release: No. 16-OPA014

CHICAGO (April 26, 2016) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the regional student winners of the President’s Environmental Youth Award: Chicago Youth Centers Nature Team for creating an urban garden, and Carmel Green Teen, in Carmel, Ind., for awarding environmental microgrants to local student groups.

“EPA applauds the Chicago Youth Centers Nature Team and Carmel Green Teens for their outstanding projects,” said acting EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan. “These students are the environmental leaders of tomorrow and they are already making a visible difference in their own communities today.” 

Chicago Youth Centers Nature Team, K-5 grade group, planned and created an urban youth garden in North Lawndale that produces fruits, vegetables and flowers which are then donated to the community. As part of an environmental classroom, the students learned how to maintain a garden, beautify their community and create a safe, peaceful place for inner-city youth. They also hosted a garden party, conducted tours and planned activities for North Lawndale residents.

The Carmel Green Teen, 6-12 grade group, is a nonprofit created, developed and administered by teens. This year’s participants awarded six microgrants to local students to fund activities to promote environmental awareness such as organizing an Earth Fair, installing a water bottle refill station that reduces 80 plastic water bottles a day, and creating habitat where monarch butterflies can migrate and reproduce.

EPA sponsors the President's Environmental Youth Award, or PEYA, an annual contest to honor creative environmental projects developed and implemented by K-12 students. The winning regional projects were chosen from entries submitted by students in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Details on this year’s winners and on the PEYA program are available at: https://www.epa.gov/education/presidents-environmental-youth-award

The application period for the next cycle of the PEYA program will open in the spring of 2016.