The Environmental Community Service Award, presented by Wawa, 6abc, and the environmental law firm Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP (MGKF), is celebrating more than a decade of supporting environmental programs that improve the local community.
The goal of the Environmental Community Service Award is to recognize two schools (6th to 12th grades) for their outstanding programs that enhance and improve the quality of life in their communities as well as raise awareness of environmental concerns.
Understanding the importance of encouraging schools to launch or sustain environmental programs, media partner 6abc will help increase awareness of the award with their audiences throughout the Delaware Valley.
Each year two schools receive a $5,000 honorarium to further their environmental programs. The application for this year’s Environmental Community Service Award is available online, and is once again presented by Wawa, 6abc, and the environmental law firm Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP. All applications must be signed by a school official and submitted by Monday, March 20, 2017. Surprise presentations will be made at the winning schools prior to Earth Day, April 22, 2017.
Since the program’s inception, 22 schools in the tri-state area have been recognized for their outstanding programs. Last year, The Academy of Notre Dame was recognized for their contributions to the school’s cross-curricular initiative, Project Stream. With the theme “Water Sustains All Life,” every academic area, from science and mathematics, to art and religion, explored issues related to water scarcity, safety, and sustainability. Students in the religion department explored global issues of water poverty while science and mathematics students conducted flow rate and water quality studies on the Darby Creek and monitored water quality in partnership with the Darby Creek Valley Association. Senior level art students studying microscopic water samples created drawings similar to artist renderings seen in scientific textbooks. Middle school art students explored Gyotaku, a traditional Japanese art of printing images of fish from an actual fish.
Also recognized for their outstanding program was the Winslow Township Middle School in Atco, NJ. Teacher Ross Cruz developed an environmental STEM course that mirrors the community’s farms.
Students have created sustainable hydroponic systems in their classroom where they test the nutrients in the system and have plants, fruits and vegetables growing through the year. Using an engineering design process, they solve real world environmental-based design challenges ranging from repurposing
Non-recyclable K‐Cups into seedling starter pots to using household items to create hydroponic systems that can grow plants in areas with limited water and land use.
Robb Fox, partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP who founded the Environmental Community Service award more than a decade ago, is proud of what these schools have been able to accomplish through this award. “It is so exciting to hear what schools are doing for their communities and the environment. These awards are positively impacting the progress and growth of these projects,” he said.
Richard Wood, director of sustainability and government relations, for Wawa, said “We have always felt that this award program is a unique way to recognize students for their efforts to make our planet more sustainable and share their ideas and achievements with the community.”
Bernie Prazenica, 6abc president and general manager, is proud to once again partner with the Environmental Community Service Award. “At 6abc, we take pride in the many ways we work to protect the environment and promote sustainability. The Action News team looks forward to showcasing the work of these bright, innovative students, while bringing focus to environmental concerns right here in our neighborhoods.”
In prior years, the winner schools have been the George W. Nebinger School in Philadelphia; The Douglass School in Wilmington, Del.; The Pathway School in Norristown, Pa.; South Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia; Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pa.; Abington High School in Abington, Pa.; Williamstown Middle School in Williamstown, N.J., Hatboro‐Horsham High School in Horsham, Pa., Charles F. Patton Middle School in Kennett Square, Pa.; Father Judge and Lincoln High Schools in Philadelphia; Epiphany of Our Lord School in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Abraham Lincoln High School – Horticultural Academy in Philadelphia; Interboro High School in Prospect Park, Pa.; St. Francis Xavier School in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia; Cedarbrook Middle School in Wyncote; Gateway Regional High School in Woodbury Heights, N.J.; W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, Philadelphia.; Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School in West Phila; Friends Central Middle School in Merion, Pa.; and Camden High School in Camden, N.J.
The individuals who judge the programs are all experts in the field of the environment and science. They are representatives from The Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Pennsylvania and New Jerseys Department of Environmental Protection, and Delawares Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with someone representing each sponsor— Wawa, 6abc, and MGKF.