Her Vision is Green … and Ongoing!

By Wendy Dew

It never ceases to amaze me what one person can do to change the world around them, especially when it is a young person. Sarah Jo Lambert, a 16-year-old from Lubbock, Texas, developed “The Vision is Green” project to fulfill her Girl Scout Gold Award requirements and help educate children about living green. Sarah’s goal was to help young children realize that living in a “green” friendly world is possible by creating an environmental education center made entirely out of green earth-friendly materials.

Sarah recruited help from Texas Tech University, the owners of EarthCo Building Systems, structural engineers, a landscape architect, and others in the community. To raise funding for the project, Sarah also solicited sponsorship from American Clay, Inc., Home Depot, Lowes, Stanley Tools, Grainger Company, as well as numerous individuals and volunteers. It was team effort of over 2200 people who believed in Sarah Jo’s vision and created Lorax Lodge

Lorax Lodge is located in an area known as the Caprock in West Texas, overlooking a Girl Scout camp. Sarah identified the local vegetation and planned a new nature trail to help visitors learn about native plants and wildlife surrounding the center. The “Rattler Trail” includes a map and a curriculum guide. Check out Sarah Jo’s Greenversations’ blog post to learn more about the center.

To date, approximately 1,300 people have visited Lorax Lodge, including visitors from 14 different states.

Sarah Jo was the 2010 President’s Environmental Youth Award winner for Region 6.
She recently received the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes which honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. The goal of the Barron Prize is to celebrate such heroic young people—and to inspire others to do their part.

In writing about amazing students and all they have accomplished, I have noticed how these successes are not one time efforts. As seen in Sarah’s case, the incredible work these kids perform is ongoing and lasting. We can all learn valuable lessons from the upcoming generations “can-do/must-do-attitude”.

About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 14 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8.

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