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Arkansas Teens Win President's Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 04/19/2006
Contact Information: Cynthia Fanning at 214-665-2200 or fanning.cynthia@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas -- April 19, 2006) Four northwest Arkansas girls will receive the regional President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) today in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene announced. The region includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. "These kids are excellent examples of how dedicated individuals can make a difference for the environment. Their commitment, enthusiasm and resourcefulness make me proud of today's young people," Greene said.

The girls, Millie Hogue, Margaux Isaksen, Madeleine Hogue and Isabella Isaksen, established the Parker Branch Stream Team, which works to preserve the beauty and ecological value of Parker Branch, a stream southeast of Fayetteville, Ark. Millie and Margaux are eighth-graders, and their sisters, Madeleine and Isabella, are in the sixth grade.

Team members learned how to take water samples to evaluate water quality, and to do physical and biological assessments of the watershed. They encouraged county officials to develop guidelines for mowing and grading the road and riparian areas bordering Parker Branch Stream. The team applied for a grant to purchase water testing equipment through the Arkansas Stream Team of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and collaborated with county and state officials to develop projects to stabilize the stream banks.

The team also held a one-day Bug Kick Summer Camp to educate residents about their project and how to protect the stream. Residents and their friends and families attended a hands-on workshop conducted at the Parker Branch Stream. Attendees ranged in age from 4 to 66 years. Team members acted as group leaders and taught techniques for capture, identification, and release of aquatic life.

The first runner-up in the regional competition was the "CO2 Crew" at Byng Junior High School in Ada, Okla., for its project, "Carbon Dioxide in Classroom Air: The Problem and Solution." Four students researched air quality in their school and worked with their teachers and school administrators to analyze, design and implement solutions to their carbon dioxide air quality problem.

The second runner-up was the Wylie Middle School Gifted Program in Abilene, Texas, for its project, "Learn and Serve: Kids Can Care!" A group of sixth-graders worked with the local zoo to improve environmental conditions around the zoo by xeriscaping, developing more creative environments for the animals and creating wildlife feeders from recyclable materials.

EPA created PEYA in 1971 to encourage children in grades K-12 to become more active in protecting the environment. Annual competitions in each of EPA's 10 regions select winners for national recognition at the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the PEYA program, current and past winners, or how to compete for this prestigious award, visit http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/awards.html.

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