It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl! It’s an Environmentalist!

sanvideoBy Trey Cody

I remember being in grade school, and my school was having an Earth Day celebration.  This was my first encounter with being educated about protecting our environment, and it inspired me to do what I could to make a difference.

I did small acts then, like encouraging my family to recycle and reduce their water use. In high school, I pushed to implement a recycling program. In college, I became a Penn State Eco-Rep, and I teach students how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle.  Currently, I am a student intern in EPA Mid-Atlantic’s Water Protection Division.  All of these acts and the ones in between would not have been possible if I was not motivated when being educated on environmental protection from an early age.  EPA agrees that environmental education is vital in helping to conserve and protect our environment and takes time to recognize schools that make outstanding efforts to groom the next generation of environmentalists.

School may be out for summer, but students and schools in the Schuylkill River watershed haven’t taken a vacation from protecting their watershed.  Some of these schools recognize the importance of teaching the younger generations about environmental topics such as water conservation and pollution sources. And they are not only teaching but also modeling good practices in management of their own facilities.

For their part in protecting drinking water sources through educational programs, class projects, and land management practices, several schools, colleges, and universities were recognized at the 2011 Schuylkill Action Network Drinking Water Scholastic Awards. This event was hosted at Upper Perkiomen School District Education Center in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. In attendance was EPA Region 3 Deputy Regional Administrator Bill Early who spoke about the importance of environmental education. Some environmental acts that were recognized included: installing rain gardens, planting and repairing buffers, and testing water. Some students also created educational videos to educate the watershed community on why it’s important to keep our water clean.

Click on the picture above to watch a video overview of the 2011 Schuylkill Action Network Drinking Water Scholastic Awards. Click on the link to learn more about the Schuylkill Action Network and how they are promoting education and outreach.  Have kids at home?  How are you educating them about environmental protection? Leave a comment and let us know!

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