DALLAS – (September 1, 2022) The Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 is pleased to announce the winner of the President’s Environmental Youth Award, Grade 6-12 category Spencer Jackson Burke of Dallas, Texas. Spencer has led multi-year conservation projects to help native solitary bee species.
“We are happy to see the next generation take such an interest in preserving our environment,” Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Spencer’s projects showed a strong aptitude for leadership and compassion. We congratulate Spencer on his accomplishments and look forward to how his contributions will increase and strengthen the bee population which is so important to agriculture, food and our planet.”
Spencer led a project that removed 45 contractor sized bags of invasive grasses and planted different types of native grasses and wildflowers using a technique called inter-seeding at Twelve Hills Nature Center in Dallas, Texas. For another project, Spencer designed, constructed, and installed 100 solitary bee nesting boxes in City of Dallas parks and other nonprofit nature preserves. In addition, he gave educational presentations about pollinator preservation and conservation. Spencer has gained national attention by receiving three national grants to fund his projects and received support from businesses to offset costs.
Students across the country have submitted their applications for this award. Those who were chosen as the winners demonstrated the ability to safeguard natural resources and to engage their communities in environmental awareness and protection. The EPA encourages young people across the nation to apply for this prestigious award to showcase the efforts they’ve taken in their communities. For additional information on PEYA and how to apply please visit our webpage.
Since the establishment of the original Environmental Education Act of 1970, The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) Program has recognized outstanding community-level environmental projects by K-12 youth for almost 50 years. PEYA continues to promote awareness of natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Each year, PEYA honors a wide-variety of local-level projects developed by students, school classes, summer camp attendees and youth organizations to promote engagement in environmental stewardship and protection. Students in all 50 states and U.S. territories are invited to participate in the program.