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Do You Know A Young Environmentalist?


DNREC's 2014 Young Environmentalist nominations open April 14

Last year, 9-year-old Sara Figurski was honored for practicing environmental stewardship every day, through projects and activities including recycling, planting trees, making birdfeeders, participating in beachgrass planting, cleaning up trash, and rescuing tadpoles, butterflies and birds. Middle schooler Kyle Spillane, 13, has volunteered more than 500 hours at DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife's DuPont Nature Center near Milford, assisting with field trips and tours, and creating children's activity pages and other educational displays. And 15-year-old Emma Rider for her work collecting shoes locally to be resold overseas, with the proceeds going to pruchase water purifiers for third-world areas suffering from dangerously poor water quality.

For their innovative ideas, good stewardship and concern for the natural world, Sara, Kyle and Emma were honored by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as Delaware’s 2013 Young Environmentalists of the Year.

If you know students like them who are putting their passions into projects that benefit our environment, you can nominate them for the 2013 Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards.

Click for 2014 Young Environmentalist Nomination Form.

Open to Delaware students in grades 1 through 12, this annual awards program seeks nominees whose actions have resulted in the protection, restoration or enhancement of our state’s natural resources. Projects must have been completed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, with a newly extended nomination period open from Monday, April 14 to Friday, June 20, 2014.

Past honorees have also included students who have organized tree plantings, a household hazardous waste community collection day and school recycling programs; and students who have volunteered their time with the Delaware Nature Society, DNREC's Piping Plover Monitoring Program and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, among other organizations.

Anyone can nominate a deserving student – teachers, parents, classmates, club or group leaders – by filling out a nomination form and including letters, reports, photos or other documentation of the project.

Winners will be chosen in three categories: elementary grades 1-4, middle school grades 5-8 and high school grades 9-12, and each will receive a gift card and a prize pack from Delaware State Parks. Winners will be honored in a special ceremony at the Delaware State Fair in July.

This is the 21st year for the awards program, which was established by DNREC colleagues and friends in honor of Dr. Edwin H. Clark II, who served as Secretary of DNREC from 1989 until 1993.

For more information, please contact Young Environmentalist Awards Coordinator Joanna Wilson in the DNREC Public Affairs Office at 302-739-9902, or by email:

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