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Illick’s Mill Project Wins Presidential Environmental Award

Release Date: 05/18/2010
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy@epa.gov (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (May 18, 2010) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Illick’s Mill Partnership for Environmental Education in Bethlehem, Pa, as the winner of the 2009 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The partnership group, made up of 28 students from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, was recognized for its continued work in revitalizing and transforming the historic Illick’s grist mill into a vibrant environmental education center that focuses on preserving and protecting the Monocacy Watershed.

“These energetic high school students and all the young people who competed for the PEYA awards demonstrate the enthusiasm EPA needs to promote awareness of our nation’s environment,” said Shawn M. Garvin, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “It’s encouraging to know that the mid-Atlantic region has so many promising environmental stewards to promote community involvement in protecting our nation’s air, water, land and ecology.”

The Illick’s Mill project was created in 2001 by 25 students and one teacher. Since then, a new group of students takes over each year. They learn first hand how to operate both an educational center and an incorporated non-profit organization. They also work towards revitalizing the old historic grist mill and its surrounding area. Students organize events, write grants, create presentations, engage in environmental work, and generally learn how to run a non-profit environmental education center.

The Illick’s Mill Partnership was chosen from 50 applications in the mid-Atlantic region that includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Applications were evaluated by a regional awards panel of EPA employees.

As regional PEYA winners, members of the Illick’s Mill Partnership will be recognized this week during the National President’s Youth Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. For more information on PEYA, visit www.epa.gov/PEYA/index.html.