Rewarding Kids For Environmental Excellence
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From coordinating coast-to-coast bake sales to help endangered sea turtles to building a floating classroom, kids and educators across the U.S. are designing creative ways to conserve the world we share. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment awarded eight youth-driven environmental groups with a SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award during a special awards ceremony at... Read More...
From coordinating coast-to-coast bake sales to help endangered sea turtles to building a floating classroom, kids and educators across the U.S. are designing creative ways to conserve the world we share. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment awarded eight youth-driven environmental groups with a SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award during a special awards ceremony at SeaWorld Orlando on April 29. Each winning group received $10,000 to fund their efforts. Winning projects included:
- Casey Sokolovic of North Carolina is using her baking skills to help threatened and endangered sea turtles. Through her awareness program, “Help Them L.A.S.T. – Love a Sea Turtle,” she bakes and sells turtle-shaped sugar cookies and lemonade to raise money in support of turtle conservation efforts. She created the “Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake,” a coast-to-coast bake sale that encourages people to bake and donate the proceeds to an ocean conservation organization.
- There are close to 6,000 known species of amphibians, and almost 2,000 are threatened with extinction. To help researchers better understand the crisis, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska created the Amphibian Conservation Education Project. Little was known about amphibian populations in Nebraska. The program gets Omaha-area students involved in conducting statewide amphibian surveys that provide information to state researchers.
- The Environmental Study Team (EST) encourages and assists young people in upstate New York to be active in the monitoring and improvement of their local environment. The students help assess and document the physical, chemical, and biological properties of freshwater streams, particularly along the Schoharie Creek and Mohawk River, and present their findings to the public and local government. The team also has discovered and reported previously unknown sources of pollution.
- Inspired by their new LEED-certified building, Green Valley Elementary School, faculty and students created the “Green and Growing” program in Pennsylvania. The program includes green challenges to encourage students and their families to recycle and conserve water and energy at home, creation of an outside green zone complete with trees, a wetland meadow and grasslands, and an outdoor classroom with amphitheater-style seating overlooking a nature trail.
- The Elizabeth River is one of the most polluted rivers that terminate in the Chesapeake Bay. The Learning Barge is a “green” vessel created by the University of Virginia School (UVA) of Architecture and The Elizabeth River Project to inform, inspire and engage riders and participants to help make the river safe for swimming and fishing by 2020. The barge’s features include a floating wetland nursery, power systems run by sun and wind, compost toilets, hand-washing stations that use rain water, a seining pool to enclose fish for study, oyster floats, habitat cubes, an underwater camera and enclosed classroom. Since its creation in 2006, more than 10,000 people have been aboard learning what they can do to support the river’s restoration.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment cares for more than 60,000 animals including 200 endangered or threatened species. The company has rescued more than 18,000 orphaned, injured or ill animals over the past four decades and contributed more than $50 million to conservation, wildlife rescue and environmental stewardship programs worldwide. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has granted more than $7 million to support hundreds of projects around the world.
Source: PR Newswire. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.