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PHILADELPHIA - U.S. Representative Chakka Fattah today presented the President’s Environmental Youth Award to 12 students from the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia. The students received the award for rejuvenating two city parks in West Philadelphia. The award was presented during a celebration of African-American History Month at the mid-Atlantic regional offices of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Center City.
The award-winning project was part of a six-week summer program sponsored by Cobbs Creek Youth Service Corps. Working closely with the local community, the students improved the quality of the parks by removing and recycling trash, pruning trees, weeding, and watering plants. The program also included formal instruction in tree identification and maintenance, aquatic ecosystems, ornithology and other environmental topics.
"This project demonstrates the value of young people working with their communities and producing tangible, positive results. EPA is proud to encourage this kind of community involvement today from our leaders of tomorrow," said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.
The President’s Environmental Youth Award annually recognizes and encourages young people’s involvement in environmental issues. Established in 1971, the award aims to promote local environmental awareness and positive community involvement. This is the first time the award has been won by students from the inner city.
Each year the award is given to recipients in each of 10 regions of the country. The recipients in the mid-Atlantic region were all students at John Bartram High School. The winners were: Kyle Felix, Christopher Ferguson, Marc Stay Jean Charles, Eyob Mekonnen, Tesfay Mekonnen, Oscar Okebata, Delmika Proctor, Aquillah Shahalemi, Mawa Sheriff, Nessi Sheriff, Hanna Tessema, Yodit Tsegai.
Later this year, one representative from the group will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Vice President Al Gore and EPA Administrator Carol Browner.