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Del City Program Wins President's Environmental Youth Award
Release Date: 4/21/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
Del City High School Water Watch Program of Del City, Okla., was recognized today at a White House ceremony as a winner of the 2004 President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene announced today.
In the 2003-2004 school year, student volunteers cleaned two miles of Crutcho Creek and developed the Eagle Point Outdoor Science Classroom. Heading up a team of core volunteers was Del City High School junior Heather Dornan and her teacher sponsor Gaile Loving.
"Miss Dornan and the volunteers at Del City High School are excellent examples of how dedicated individuals can make a difference. Their commitment, enthusiasm and resourcefulness make me proud of today's young people," Greene said.
Crutcho Creek flows past the Del City High School campus. After receiving training in water quality testing from state environmental agencies, students monitored macro invertebrates and tested the water in the creek, showing it had a poor stream rating. They removed man-made debris one mile above and one mile below the campus water testing point. Testing after the cleanup determined that the creek was sustainable and the macro invertebrate population was increasing.
Even before the creek was clean, the students began planning for an outdoor classroom on vacant school property adjacent to the creek. They produced a video of the cleanup, developed a web site and engaged local news media. By involving local businesses like Burger King and Sam's Wholesale Club, the students received food and materials for an interactive on-campus outdoor classroom.
The Eagle Point Outdoor Science Classroom includes birdhouses, birdfeeders and a nature trail. With Crutcho Creek as a wildlife source, students can study the biotic/abiotic factors of the area, Oklahoma songbirds, monarch butterfly food sources, wildlife needs and ground water issues. It is an asset not only to the science classes, but also to the fine arts and creative writing programs.
EPA created PEYA in 1971 to encourage children in grades K-12 to become more active in protecting the environment. Annual competitions in each of EPA's 10 regions select winners for national recognition at the Washington, D.C. ceremony.
For more information on the PEYA program, current and past winners, or how to compete for this prestigious award, visit https://www.epa.gov/enviroed/awards.html. An audio clip is available at https://www.epa.gov/earth1r6/6xa/radio.htm.