Here's a brief look at Region 7's award winning projects from the past three years of competition:
2011 - Students from Niobrara High School in Niobrara, Neb.- received recognition for their work on a wetlands conservation project. The Purple Loosestrife Project focused on controlling purple loosestrife, an aggressively invasive plant species around the town of Niobrara.
2010 - Goddard High School in Goddard, Kan. – Students restored a 4,000-square-foot native prairie grasses area located on the Goddard High School campus. The students established and maintained three garden beds as a native prairie garden which contains culturally-significant native plants. The plants helped to certify the site as a Monarch Way Station for migrating Monarch butterflies. Students also built benches to be used by classes visiting the gardens and developed ceramic sculptures which are displayed along the tall grass nature trail.
2009 - Rivermont Collegiate High School in Bettendorf, Iowa – Pavane Gorrepati, a student from Rivermont Collegiate High School experimented with different types of fuel cells to understand potential environmental benefits and drawbacks. The student distinguished the capabilities of the different fuel cells and arrived at ways to increase efficiency by balancing costs and benefits.
Entries are now being sought for the 2012 President's Environmental Youth Awards, which recognize individuals, school classes and youth organizations for protecting our nation's air, water and land.
The program, which honors a variety of environmental projects developed by students, is open to students in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska through EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kansas.
The program has two components: The regional certificate program and the regional award winner. Regional certificates are awarded by each of the 10 regional offices of the EPA. Applications for the regional certificate can be submitted at any time during the year. Each regional office also selects one first place project as its regional award winner.
Projects must be postmarked by Monday, December 31, 2012. Regional award winners will be notified in February 2013.