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2000 News Releases


Dedication of Community Labyrinth in Chester, Pa. Scheduled 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11

Release Date: 11/8/2000
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Eighth Graders from EPA’s Student Environmental Development Program Helped
to Build Labyrinth, Will Attend Ceremony

CHESTER, Pa. – The 14 eighth-graders from Chester, who graduated from EPA’s summer student environmental development program, will see their community service come to life when the community labyrinth they built is dedicated on Saturday.

The students, from Pulaski, Smedley and Main Street Middle Schools, spent their summer helping to construct a walking labyrinth at the Bernardine Center, 2625 W. 9th St. (corner of 9th and Hayes Streets), Chester, Pa., as part of their participation in EPA’s student summer program.

The dedication ceremony is set for 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Bernardine Center. Instructions for walking the labyrinth and refreshments will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sister Patricia Ann Czarnota of the Bernardine Center has long dreamed of building a labyrinth to provide the community a place for meditation and quiet time. Her dream for Chester came true with help from EPA’s summer students, who worked at the direction of VISTA volunteers sponsored by EPA and the AmeriCorps public service program.

The Sisters of St. Francis operate a food pantry at the site, tutor children and host a variety of free workshops on such topics as nutrition, personal finance, child care, and growing your own vegetables.

Community residents joined with EPA’s summer students from July to October to design and build the 35-foot labyrinth. Work included leveling about 60 feet of dirt, laying the foundation, finishing a black industrial border layer, and adding gravel and chipped stone.

EPA’s summer program provides community-based environmental education where students attend classes every day for seven weeks. They are taught, mentored and chaperoned by more than 150 EPA employees and VISTA volunteers from the mid-Atlantic region. They then take what they have learned about protecting the environment back to their communities and share it with their parents, teachers, siblings, and classmates.

Started in 1993 with Philadelphia students, the program has now expanded into Chester and Wilmington, Del. Plans are underway to bring the program to Dover, Del. and Baltimore, Md. next year, and to Washington, D.C. in 2002.

For more information, contact the Bernardine Center at 610-497-3225.