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Green Youth Awards

Green Youth Award Recipients

2011 award winners are:

Joe DiGuiseppi

Storm Drain Marking for the Village of Cherry Valley

Rockford (Winnebago)

Joe's Eagle Scout environmental education project combined Boy Scouts and other volunteers and local resources to increase public awareness on Nonpoint source pollution. Volunteers glued 200 markers on the Village of Cherry's storm drains to alert the community to eh connection between. Workers also picked up trash around the storm drains and distributed nearly 600 door hangers that informed and solicited support from residents. It is Joe's hope that the storm drain markers will alert potential polluters to the fact that what they dump into the storm drains flow directly into our rivers. Hopefully people will think twice and dispose of their waste in a responsible manner.

Prather School Earth Protectors

“Green Shoes”

Granite City (Madison County)

The Prather School Earth Protectors do all of the recycling for their school. They wanted to make sure that our students and staff would remember our projects so that they could help us make the earth a better place to live. To make an impact on the students and staff, the Earth Protectors presented a “black light” musical skit entitled “Green Shoes,” which was about a boy who noticed that his park was filled with trash. The Earth Protectors arrive and tell the boy that the items can be recycled. They sign a son and place times in the park in the correct recycling bins. After the song, they invite to boy to become an “Earth Protector.” The presentation took place during the week of American Recycles Day. The show reminded the students and staff at Prather School that we must all do our part by wearing our “green shoes” everyday.

Trico Elementary School

“Where the Wild Things Go”

Campbell Hill (Jackson County)

Fourth grade students planned, organized and implemented a wildlife habitat in a previously unused outdoor area at their school. This outdoor area will provide food, water, shelter and habitats for local wildlife, and serve as a learning lab for Trico Elementary School. The area includes native, drought-resistant plan, host plants for butterfly and moth caterpillars, nectar sources for butterflies, moths and hummingbirds, as well as seed plants for birds. They researched appropriate organic gardening techniques that would allow for optimum growth of the garden without using harmful chemicals. The benches, bird houses, and bird feeders are all made from recycled milk jugs. The children recycled materials and made the stepping stones, glass mosaic artwork and toad abodes. The weed barrier for all of the gardens is old newspaper and the garden beds all contain compost from kitchen waste and bar manure. After completion the students wrote a book that explained the project and included information and resources for others to learn how to create their own backyard wildlife habitats. They conducted guided informational tours for the school and community.

Green Club

Freemont Middle School

Mundelein (Lake County)

The overarching goal of the “Green Club” projects is to cultivate environmental stewardship, through hands-on service-learning projects, among the club members as well as the local community. The school district was lacking a comprehensive recycling program, so the club was charged with the responsibility to initiate recycling stations within each school building. Recycling stations are conveniently located in the foyer of each school building. They collect e-waste, single-stream recyclables, books, and worn-out athletic shoes for Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program. The shoes are repurposed as manufacturing materials for athletic surfaces in underserved communities. In addition, some of the electronic items and books are donated to various not-for –profits for re-use. The Green Club is responsible to maintain, audit, sort and haul the recycling station bins. They also provide recycling presentation to the elementary school students. In addition, the Green Club organized two2 Adopt-a-Highway events, as well as recess cleanups throughout the source of the school year.

Anna Pienta


Rock Island (Rock Island County)

Anna's electronic recycling project started out with a simple news article that caught her attention, explaining the growing problem associated with e-waste. Consumers are constantly upgrading electronics but many times have no idea of what to do with old, out-dated, and unwanted electronics. Anna's project was to inform citizens of this problem and create a program that could positively influence people to recycle their old electronics to prevent the accumulation of hazardous materials in landfills. Anna cooperated with local sponsors and media to collect and divert over 9,000 pounds of electronic waste through six collections each, at two different sites. Although the project had some challenges, Anna learned from these, and is ready to face future challenges on mega-byte at a time.

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