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Release Date: 4/12/2000
Contact Information: Leo Kay, U.S EPA, 415/744-2201

     Northern California School Honored
     SAN FRANCISCO   During a ceremony in Washington DC today, U.S. EPA Administrator Carol Browner honored the fifth grade class from El Verano Elementary School as one of 10 national winners of the President's Environmental Youth Award.

     The awards have been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who develop projects that help protect local environments and promote local environmental awareness in their communities.
     "These students should be commended for their creativity and commitment to improving the environment of their local communities," Browner said.  "Through their projects, they have shown great leadership and dedication to preserving our environment and making it a healthier and cleaner place to live."

    As part of its "Helping Our Precious Earth" theme, the El Verano class focused on recycling
and endangered species issues through the following activities:

    maintaining a school-wide paper and aluminum can recycling program

    building bat boxes for donation to local vineyards

    monitoring the California wood duck in their community

    collecting signatures on a petition to help the Mexican grey wolf to survive

    raising and then releasing a Steelhead from egg to fry in their classroom

    planting a million California poppy seeds in the Van Hooser Wildflower Preserve

    adopting six endangered species: two grey wolves (Teka and Angel), two bats (Fruity and
  Hope), and two whales (Olympia and Star), and

    cleaning and maintaining three local creeks: Calabasas Creek, part of Sonoma Creek that
  passes through Maxwell Park, and an unnamed creek in the Van Hoosear Preserve.

     Nine students from the class and their teacher, David Neubacher,  joined the other regional winners at the national ceremony where Browner honored them with a plaque presentation.

     The other award recipients are from: Kenai, Alaska;  Longmont, Colo.; Woodbridge, Conn.; Paoli, Ind.; Nicholasville, Ky.; St. Louis, Mo.; Bridgewater, N.J.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Virginia Beach, Va.