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Texas Teenager Wins President’s Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 05/20/2010
Contact Information: Dave Bary at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas – May 20, 2010) Sarah Jo Lambert of Lubbock is the 2010 winner of the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6. At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Ms. Lambert was recognized for her project, “Vision Is Green.”

“Each year, I am impressed with the commitment of the students to improve the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “But what really strikes me as I look at all the entries, is the diversity and creativity of the students as they find ways to effectively work toward a cleaner and safer world.”

Ms. Lambert’s “Vision Is Green” project had three components aimed at convincing young people they can live in a green world: First, she designed and built an environmental education center using earth-friendly materials like compressed earth blocks. She built a low maintenance environmental education center that can be used for years to come. When the center and an accompanying nature trail were complete, she then developed an environmental education curriculum for the children who would use them. The last part of the “Vision Is Green” project was a “Green Challenge” -- a call for her fellow Girl Scouts around the world to take up similar projects and to instill the same ideas in their own communities.

One unintended side effect of “Vision Is Green” is the involvement and support of various community members in the construction of the environmental education center and the continuing education program itself. More than 1,300 people, including visitors from 14 states, have toured the education center, called Lorax Lodge.

Established in 1990, the PEYA program encourages children in grades K through 12 to learn about their environment and create strategies for improving their communities’ public and environmental health. Projects from every state and U.S. territory compete regionally and nationally and are judged by 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/may2010.html

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