The goal of the Environmental Community Service award is to raise awareness of environmental concerns and to recognize middle and high schools in the Delaware Valley for their efforts in environmental service projects that enhance and improve the quality of life in their communities.
Each year one high school and one middle school receive a $5,000 honorarium to further their environmental programs. The applications for this year’s Environmental Community Service Award are available online at www.wawa.com, www.nbc10.com and www.mgkflaw.com. All applications must be signed by a school official and submitted by Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. Winners will be announced just prior to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
Ten schools in the tri-state area have been recognized for their outstanding programs. In 2010, Lincoln High School in Philadelphia was recognized for the Horticulture Academy where students run a retail flower shop and manage a Greenhouse. In addition, the students in the Environmental Academy were honored for launching a multi-faceted project to build awareness of the importance of reducing carbon footprint.
Epiphany of our Lord School in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., completed a large, school-wide recycling project where cleaned milk jugs were assembled into an igloo in the library as a private reading area.
In prior years, the awarded programs were just as interesting. In 2009, Interboro High School in Prospect Park, Pa., was recognized for its kindergarten student mentoring program revolving around the environment and St. Francis Xavier School in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia won for it’s creatively designed “art garden” reflecting themes from its neighbor, the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In 2008, Cedarbrook Middle School in Wyncote, Pennsylvania was honored for implementing an investigative program of the Tookany Creek Watershed and Gateway Regional High School in Woodbury Heights, N.J., for its environmental programs linking hydroponics, aquaculture and alternative energy.
Winners from 2007 were both in Philadelphia: W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences won for its project of phyto-remediation, which removes traces of lead and other pollutants from the soil of neighbors nearby homes, and the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School for their urban arboretum.
Robb Fox, managing partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP and one of the advocates for the award, is proud of the programs they have recognized. “Each year we are impressed with the incredibly creative and resourceful programs developed and implemented by the students. It’s difficult being a judge because we have seen over 100 worthwhile efforts by students and faculty over these past years. Selecting the winners is never easy,” he said.
The individuals who judge the programs are all experts in the field of the environment and science. They are representatives from The Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, and Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with someone representing each sponsor —Wawa, NBC 10 and MGKF.