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Green Youth Awards

Green Youth Award Recipients


The hard work and commitment of students and schools across Illinois to exhibit environmental leadership was recognized Friday, May 11 at the Governor’s Green Youth Awards at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. The awards, administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) acknowledged outstanding environmental protection and conservation projects by Illinois’ young people.

Winners for the 2007 Green Youth Awards are:

Photo: Paritcipant Robert Richmond with IEPA Director Scott

Robert H. Richmond III – Lockport

Robert Richmond’s project reduced the amount of surplus monofilament line that is improperly discarded by fishermen. Under guidance from the Cook County Forest Preserve, the project consisted of assembling collection receptacles and placing them at various points at Tampier Lake and educating the public about the program. Robert talked to fishermen at the lake, gave interviews on local radio stations, newspapers and fishing clubs. Robert also received a Keep America Beautiful Hometown Award for this ambitious project.

Photo: Participant Tayler McGillis with IEPA Director Scott

Tayler McGillis – Toluca

Tayler built and maintains a bluebird trail at the Toluca Coal Mine “Jumbo” Park. While performing his maintenance on the trail he discovered that the trees the preservation committee had planted were showing signs of drought stress, negatively impacting the wildlife species dependent on the trees. Tayler’s project included pruning, fertilizing and mulching all the trees and then tiling eight rows of ground to prevent erosion around the pond. The Revitalization of Jumbo Park has provided a cleaner and safer environment for all who inhabit and use the park. As a result the bird population has increased and the water is safer for all due to the management of the erosion sites.

Photo: Keith Country Day School participants with IEPA Director Scott

Keith Country Day School – Rockford

The EnergyNet Team, thirteen 9-12 grade students, successfully acted upon its motto, “Being Green: It’s Your World.” As a team, they raised school and community energy awareness by constructing projects that would aid the reduction of fossil energy dependency. Energy Net Team activities included:

  • Promoting the sales of compact fluorescent lights in place of usual school fundraisers. The EnergyNet team used the profits from their Lights for Learning Fundraiser to secure a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for a solar panel installation in their school.
  • Facilitating a student led discussion with community leaders after viewing of “An Inconvenient Truth”.
  • Researching multiple positive energy techniques and energy sources available to the school, including research for “green roof” for the school.
  • Teaching 5th grade students about energy as part of the 2007 Community Earth Day/Volunteer Expo at Rock Valley College.
Photo: Rhodes School participants with IEPA Director Scott

Rhodes School District 84.5 – River Grove

Rhodes School will receive special recognition for its continued years of excellent recycling, source reduction, and energy conservation projects and programs. This school is very close to “Zero Waste.” All projects are student driven, including:

  • Four years of collecting electronics has resulted in recycling 423,000 pounds of outdated equipment from over 50 school districts and 40 Chicago area communities. This translates in to over 30,000 pounds of lead diverted from landfills.
  • For 17 years, all paper, milk cartons, aluminum cans, plastic containers, plastic bags, computer toner, cardboard, and steel cans have been collected daily.
  • A student-generated grant application resulted in a grant award from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation for the purchase of solar panels for the Rhodes School building.
  • Rhodes School (District 84.5) partners with the River Grove School (District 85.5) to share bus service, which saves over 3,000 gallons of gas per year.
  • For several years the school has operated as a paperless building. By electronically sending messages to teachers, announcements, grades, and attendance, they save more that 26,000 sheets of paper per year.
  • Students have conducted school energy audits and through the last five years have used grant funds to upgrade lighting in throughout the building.

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