HARRINGTON – Today at the Delaware State Fair, Governor John Carney and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin honored 30 Delawareans of all ages for their environmental leadership, innovation and dedication.
“This afternoon, we recognized a broad cross section of Delawareans who contribute to the conservation of our natural resources and the stewardship of our environment,” said Secretary Garvin. “We congratulate these volunteers, artists, organizers, photographers, and anglers – conservationists and environmentalists all – for their work that brought us here today, and look forward to their future contributions.”
Awards presented were: four Young Environmentalists of the Year, 13 Outstanding Volunteers, three Youth Fishing Tournament winners, winners of this year’s Hunting and Fishing Photo Contests, one Wetland Warrior, and six Rain Barrel Painting artists.
Here is a complete list of the 2017 DNREC Awards recipients:
Young Environmentalists of the Year
Middle School: For two years, Katheryn Givens, 14, of Newark, took a leadership role educating her fellow students through Kirk Middle School’s Recycling/Environmental Club, starting and maintaining a composting project and a plastic bag recycling program that gathered more than 10,000 bags, and playing an instrumental role in her school becoming the 2016 Recycle Bowl State Champion.
High School: An active beekeeper and Delaware Beekeepers Association member, Brandon “Bee Man” Pike, 17, of Middletown, shares his passion for educating others about bee management and sustainable practices to support bee health with his fellow students at William Penn High School as well as the community at large.
High School: Observing the trash and yard waste dumped in a wooded area near his home, Matthew Johnston, 16, of Newark, organized and fundraised for a volunteer community cleanup effort as his Eagle Scout Project, hauling out six pickup and two trailer loads of yard waste, planting 40 trees and 20 shrubs, marking out a walking trail and posting “no dumping” signs.
High School – Special Recognition: After researching and writing a paper about sustainable energy in Delaware, Lillian Peterson, 17, of Newark, met with legislators and DNREC Division of Energy & Climate staff to share her observations, careful analysis and ideas for the future of Delaware’s energy policy that showed her passion for the environment and great potential as a future environmental leader.
The Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards are presented annually to Delaware students who have worked to protect, restore or enhance our state’s natural resources. For more information, contact Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outstanding Volunteers of the Year
Youth Historical Education: Working towards his goal of becoming an archaeologist, Max Kichline volunteered 129.5 hours for the DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation’s Cultural Resources Unit in 2016. Known for his energy and creative problem-solving skills, Max worked everything from digs in the field with the Time Travelers program to artifact washing.
Youth Environmental Education: A passionate volunteer with special needs at the Brandywine Zoo since 2015, Tyler Manelski loves sharing his knowledge of the animals and their environment with visitors taking in zoo programs and on guided tours. Tyler hopes to pursue a career involving animals and the environment.
Youth Group: First State Club: Eighteen middle schoolers Campus Community School in Dover contributed a total of 873 hours to First State Heritage Park’s “Passports Through Time: Dover’s 300th Birthday” program, creating and performing short historical theater vignettes in costume and working with 450 fourth-graders in a three-day history program.
Administration & Coordination: Since 2015, dedicated and passionate volunteer Patrick Fallon has led the Brandywine Zoo’s camera club, personally contributing most of the photos used on the zoo’s website and in zoo publications, and attending many special zoo events.
Conservation: For more than 20 years, Mark Cameron has volunteered about 30 hours each spring assisting the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Trout Stocking Program and the White Clay Flyfishers to help make White Clay Creek State Park’s trout stocking program a huge recreational success.
Conservation Group: A newly-formed club based in Ocean View, Salt Air Gardeners of Bay Forest this year planned, planted and maintains the beautiful landscaping around Delaware Seashore State Park’s Indian River Life-Saving Station.
Environmental Education: A special education teacher who volunteered nearly 70 hours at the Brandywine Zoo last year, Anna Krueger helps interpret zoo exhibits for youth visitors to provide all with a meaningful experience, and assists with special events and professional development opportunities for zoo volunteers.
Environmental Education Group: For the past eight years, the Park Watch Surf Fishing Check Group has supported and promoted surf-fishing education in Delaware’s ocean beach state parks, assisting with surf-fishing and safety equipment checks, helping with driving on the beach classes and providing support at special events.
Recreation: Serving as president of Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park, Stuart “Stupendous Stu” Schmidt has dedicated 680 hours to the park as of May 2017, including creation of a new website, improving the park’s Bike Barn program, and partnering with local businesses to add bike “fix-it” stations along park trails.
Research: A dedicated volunteer known for her excellent data collection skills, Julie McCall has led more than 180 volunteer activities since 2009 for the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Species Conservation and Research program, including amphibian, terrapin and beach nesting bird surveys, bat colony emergence counts and bat catches.
Research Group: Following a tragic carbon monoxide incident in New Castle County, DNREC’s Council on Boiler Safety assisted with drafting changes to Delaware’s boiler safety regulations requiring property owners to perform monthly and annual preventative maintenance checks of their boiler systems and to install smart-technology carbon monoxide detectors in boiler rooms that can shut down the boiler in an emergency. The Council also worked on safety procedures and regulations for Punkin Chunkin’s air cannons.
Friends: As a dedicated member of Trap Pond State Park Partners, Penny Denney is quick to take charge, spending about 20 hours a month volunteering at park events including the annual Bike Rally, Beer and Wine Fest and summer concert series.
Friends Group: The Friends of Killens Pond State Park take a leadership role in supporting the popular park, orchestrating the summer concert series, holding twice-monthly trail maintenance days and monthly weeding days for park flowerbeds, providing scholarships for educational programs and summer camps and assisting with special events.
DNREC offers a wide range of year-round volunteer opportunities for all ages. To learn about how you or your group can volunteer, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/volunteer/.
Youth Fishing Tournament
First place: Elise Britton, 13, of Middletown, statewide winner and New Castle County winner, caught fish weighing a total of 25.22 pounds, including an 8.6-pound carp, at Lums Pond on June 3.
Second place: Dominic Garcia, 12, of Smyrna, Kent County winner, caught 10.33 pounds of fish caught at the Akridge Scout Reservation pond.
Third place: John Timmons V, 5 years old, of Georgetown, Sussex County winner, caught 4.19 pounds of fish caught in Ingrams Pond near Millsboro.
Held annually on the first Saturday in June, the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Youth Fishing Tournament was established in 1986 to introduce young people to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation.
Hunting and Fishing Photo Contests
Shenna Bogetti of Dover won the Fishing Photo Contest for “Daddy & Daughter’s 1st Drum,” featuring her husband, Brian Bogetti and daughter Mackenzie fishing in the Delaware Bay. Shenna’s photo appears on the cover of the 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide.
Bo Wilkinson of Dagsboro won the Hunting Photo Contest for “Couples Retreat” featuring Morgan Anton after a successful waterfowl hunt on the Indian River. His photo appears on the cover of the 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.
For information on the upcoming 2017/18 contests, click Fish & Wildlife photo contest.
For 10 years, Pamela Vanderwende has led the Conservation Club at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Bridgeville, focusing on educating students on the importance of conservation and caring for our environment. Pam has raised more than $80,000 for outdoor projects on school property which serve as outdoor classrooms.
The Wetland Warrior Awards are presented annually by DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship to individuals or organizations that have acted to benefit Delaware wetlands through outreach and education, monitoring, restoration, or protection. For more information, click Wetland Warriors.
Youth Rain Barrel Painting Contest
First place: “Web of Life,” by Youth 4 Change. Artists are Faiza Chaudhry, Hiba Chaudhry, Suha Chaudhry, Adam Hubert, Hana Hubert, Merve Hekik and Mariam Patel.
Second place: Ashby Amory of Milford, for “Water Me Spinach.”
Finalists: Three groups of fifth graders from Newark’s Maclary Elementary School, for “Water Women,” “L.I.F.E.,” and “Masters.”
Adult Rain Barrel Contest
Sussex County resident Teri Edgeworth painted “What Goes In, Must Come Out,” to send the message that what goes into our waterways from creeks and rivers to the bay and ocean, must be cleaned out. Her barrel will be placed at Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence in Dover.
Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 47, No. 170