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Blue Springs, Mo., South High School Wins Presidential Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 03/01/2006
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, (913) 551-7402,

Environmental News


Blue Springs South High School in Blue Springs, Mo., has won EPA Region 7’s 2006 Presidential Environmental Youth Award for student work to restore Young Park to a native Missouri prairie.

Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford said, “These students have taken personal responsibility for their environment and for environmental stewardship. We are extremely proud to know that they will represent our four-state region during the national awards ceremony next month in Washington.”

A portion of the park, adjacent to the school, was donated to the high school for the project by Blue Springs and its Parks and Recreation Department.

Students are working in partnership with the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Missouri Department of Conservation, Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Project, Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation. The Wildlife Federation has certified the park a National Schoolyard Habitat, and the Missouri Conservation Department has designated it an outdoor classroom.

The Young Park Restoration Project provides interdisciplinary, experiential learning. The park is being used for outdoor projects such as art classes, Earth Day poster contests and nature diaries.

Three outdoor classes, environmental science, home economics, and physical education, are being held in the park. Students are learning about water quality and participating in water quality studies. The results are given to Blue Springs to monitor the park’s pond water quality.

A woodland planting area has been started with native Missouri orchids and shade plants. Home economics students are harvesting persimmons from trees planted in the park and are using the persimmons to re-create recipes originally written by westward bound settlers. Young Park has also become a nature experience for the citizens of Blue Springs. Long-term planning has begun for future park enhancements, such as a new interpretive nature trail, native Missouri flowering dogwoods and expansion of the prairie and woodland areas.

Every year, each of EPA’s 10 regional environmental education offices selects a youth award winner to represent them at the national awards ceremony in Washington. Blue Springs South students will represent Region 7. The awards have been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who develop projects that help protect their environment and promote environmental awareness in their communities.

Applications must be submitted by Oct. 31. They can be obtained from Denise Morrison, Office of External Programs, EPA Region 7, 901 N. Fifth St., Kansas City, KS 66101. Phone (913) 551-7402, toll-free (800) 223-0425,

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Learn more about environmental youth awards