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Release Date: 04/15/2011
Contact Information: James Pinkney, 404-562-9183,

(ATLANTA – April 15, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announced today that it has selected Kyle Kittelberger from Raleigh, NC as the 2010 PEYA recipient. Kyle will be presented the PEYA award by EPA’s Deputy Regional Administrator, Stan Meiburg, at Raleigh’s “Planet Earth Celebration” on Saturday, April 16, 2011.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s young people.

Kyle's project is divided into four parts which allows for promotion of awareness of our nation's natural resources and to encourage positive community involvement while addressing conservation and sustainability issues in the ecosystem at the Sandling Beach, Falls Lake State Park. (1) Construction of an eighty-foot long wetland boardwalk and observation deck: This boardwalk and observation deck will allow the visitors and the community to be able to enjoy the viewing of migratory birds and other animals in their natural habitat located in this wetland area. (2) Staircases on a Hill to prevent Erosion: was built to accommodate easy and safe passage to the board walk while serving to preserve the eroding hill side that visitors would ordinarily have to maneuver. (3) Recycling Centers: Kyle constructed eight recycling centers for the park's seven picnic shelters and one boat access site, tackling the issue of resource management and recovery. (4) Invasive Plant Eradication: While constructing the wetland boardwalk and staircase, Kyle noticed that invasive species was found in the area that he was working. These invasive species (Autumn Olive and Sweetgums), not native to the surrounding area were out-competing and even killing the native vegetation. Kyle led volunteers in the eradication of these non-native plants by first consulting with the park rangers to decide on the best herbicide to use. This removal was done so that other native plants could flourish in this two-acre area of the park.

For more information on the PEYA Award visit: