Congratulations to the Mahtomedi High School Eco Club, which received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award in June. The club was recognized for its work in helping to raise funding for the Zephyr Wind Turbine, which was installed in 2011 near the high school playing fields.
The club was chosen from among schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin to receive the award.
Eco Club co-founder Katie Ledermann wrote about the award in a blog posted to the EPA website:
“When I entered Mahtomedi High School as a freshman, I wanted to join a club. I quickly realized that we didn’t have any clubs related to sustainability or the environment. I knew that several of my friends shared my interest, so I asked my friend, Spencer Legred, if he wanted to help get a club started. As freshman, we became the co-presidents of the Mahtomedi High School Eco Club. We have continued to meet every other Friday morning before school and consistently have had a group of about 15 students of all grades participating.
Fortunately for the Eco Club, there was a group in our community called the Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative that was very interested in working with us. The year we started, we found out that they were striving to put up a wind turbine in Mahtomedi near the high school. We thought it was a great idea, especially since our school mascot is the Zephyrs, and they were excited to have high school students get involved in the project. Not only would the students be enthused about something in our first year as a club, but we could also show the community that the issue was indeed important to the youth of our community. …
In 2011, the summer after my sophomore year, the community was able to install a 10 kilowatt wind turbine in our newly renovated stadium. Our Zephyr Wind Turbine is now an icon of the sustainability efforts happening in our community and a learning tool in our classes and for everyone that visits our school. I have continued to lead the Eco Club with Spencer all four years of our high school careers as we have tackled other smaller projects to help make our school more sustainable. The Mahtomedi Eco Club is very excited to be receiving the 2012 President’s Environmental Youth Award for all of our efforts.”