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Fifth-graders at Crellin Elementary School Receive Presidential Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 04/20/2007
Contact Information: Terri White 215-814-5523 /

Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2007) – EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced that the Crellin Elementary School was one of 10 recipients to win the President’s Environmental Youth Award at a ceremony today in Washington, D.C.

    The Crellin Environmental Education Lab, an outdoor classroom, was created in conjunction with the restoration of Snowy Creek, which runs adjacent to the school. Restoration efforts have been used as an educational tool to engage students in meaningful, hands-on learning opportunities that benefit the entire community and enhance the students’ knowledge of Maryland’s watersheds.

    “This is an outstanding environmental education effort and richly deserves to win the President’s Environmental Youth Award,” said EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh. “Crellin’s students are not only gaining first-hand experience in protecting the environment, they are developing a sense of responsibility and stewardship for the watersheds in their home state.”

    The fifth grade class participated in developing the education lab and have taken part in stream cleanup, planted native trees and shrubs, constructed a native butterfly garden, assembled and erected bat boxes and birdhouses, and provided content for a history-themed recreation area.

    Students have collected baseline data on newly planted native trees, using grade-appropriate math and measurement skills. The data, to be collected annually, help monitor the progress of the restoration project. Throughout the project, the students documented their experiences in journals and developed presentations about their projects.

    In the fall of 2006, an interpretive nature trail complete with a boardwalk was constructed through the wetlands. The students worked with local botanists and environmental educators to prepare the content and identify photographs for field guides.

    Prior to the awards luncheon, the 18 fifth graders presented the details of their outdoor classroom project to EPA’s administrator, EPA regional administrators, and parents, teachers and students from around the country. The students also met with U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin in his office at the Hart Senate Office Building.

    The President’s Environmental Youth Awards program encourages individuals, school classes, schools, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote local environmental awareness and to channel this awareness into positive community involvement. The program is open to all students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

    More information, as well as a listing of the 2007 award winners and their project descriptions is available at: