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Scottsbluff High School Student Wins President's Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 04/23/2009
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, (913) 551-7402,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., April 23, 2009) - Scottsbluff, Neb., High School student Elizabeth Turnbo will receive EPA Region 7's 2008 President's Environmental Youth Award for organizing and leading a major recycling event in her community, the Recycle Rally. Turnbo competed with other students and groups from throughout Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska to receive the award.

Turnbo's Recycle Rally, held April 26, 2008, was a family event to educate and inform the Scottsbluff community about the importance of recycling and where to take recyclable items. The rally featured six games, five informational booths and four displays, all made from recyclable materials, as well as an informational handout that included maps to local recycling facilities.

More than 250 people, or more than twice the crowd that Turnbo hoped for, participated in the Recycle Rally. Turnbo now wants to turn the rally into an annual community event.

Turnbo partnered with Wal-Mart of Scottsbluff, the Keep Scottsbluff/Gering Beautiful organization, the City of Scottsbluff, a 4-H club, the Scottsbluff High School Environmental Club and other natural resources students to help organize the Recycle Rally. Some students came up with their own suggestions for the event, such as displays of recycled art.

"Elizabeth has shown great initiative, leadership and stewardship skills by involving students, organizations and businesses in this award-winning project," said William Rice, Acting Regional Administrator. "This project is informing and raising community awareness about recycling, which helps to preserve and protect our environment."

Every year, each of EPA's 10 regional offices selects a youth award winner to represent the region at a national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Turnbo will travel there to receive her award on May 13.

The President's Environmental Youth Awards have been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who develop projects that help protect their environment and promote environmental awareness in their communities. To learn more about the President's Environmental Youth Awards, go to

To be considered for the 2009 PEYA competition in Region 7, applications must be submitted no later than December 31, 2009. For applications, contact Denise Morrison, Office of Public Affairs, EPA Region 7, 901 N. Fifth St., Kansas City, KS 66101. Morrison can also be reached at 913-551-7402, or toll-free, 1-800-223-0425, or by e-mail at
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Learn more about EPA's environmental youth awards programs

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