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Oklahoma private school receives President’s Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 05/13/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas – May 13, 2009) Keystone Adventure School and Farm, Inc. of Edmond, Oklahoma, was recognized in Washington, DC, at a ceremony today for receiving the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Keystone Adventure School and Farm, Inc., a small private school of students from grades Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade, earned national recognition by collectively producing an environmental sustainability plan for their campus and establishing their own totally “green” restaurant called the Kid’s Café.

“This was an amazing accomplishment by students, faculty, and staff at Keystone,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Larry Starfield. “Their hard work, dedication, and resourcefulness exemplifies how our agency is encouraging all age groups to be good environmental stewards.”

Working together as a team, students from Keystone produced a sustainability plan to make their school “green.” Projects for the “green” sustainability plan included incorporating campus-wide recycling, encouraging chemical-free cleaning practices, cleaning with rags instead of paper, allowing reusable serving ware instead of plastic, planting and maintaining a chemical-free garden, testing water quality, and reusing seeds for crafts and planting.

Operated totally by the students, the Kid’s Café project challenged the Keystone students by incorporating environmental stewardship while managing a restaurant. Students were responsible for growing the vegetables, cooking the food, waiting on tables, and managing the funds. The funds were donated to an orphanage school in Thailand to promote green gardening to supplement their diet.

Established in 1990, the PEYA program encourages kids to learn about their environment and create strategies for improving their community's public and environmental health. Projects compete regionally and nationally and are judged by the EPA on impacts, benefits, how environmental needs were met and other criteria. PEYA encourages student participation in community projects that have positive environmental impacts and involvement in environmental issues.

Additional information on EPA’s PEYA program is available at http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/peya/index.html

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/may2009.html

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