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Administrator Johnson kicks off Green Schools Challenge by presenting $100,000 grant to Chicago’s Mayor Daley


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson celebrated Earth Day at an event today in Chicago by presenting a $100,000 grant to Mayor Richard M. Daley to help fund 50 new conservation clubs in Chicago public high schools. The grant kicks off EPA Region 5’s new Green Schools Challenge.

“This Earth Day, we see America shifting to a ”green culture“ - where all of our citizens understand that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Through EPA’s Green Schools Challenge, we are equipping Chicago’s youngest environmental leaders with the tools to hand down a cleaner, healthier world. ”

“Protecting the environment is everybody’s business,” said Mayor Daley at the City of Chicago’s Earth Day Rally in Daley Plaza. “Working together we can conserve Chicago and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”

The Green Schools Challenge is a new regional program to teach children about the environment and help them apply what they learn to real-life situations in their schools and communities. The challenge is aimed at students in grades 4-12. Participating schools, classes or student groups will earn credits for working on environmental projects and will receive recognition from EPA during Earth Week 2008.

Chicago’s conservation clubs exemplify what the Green Schools Challenge is all about. There are currently 22 conservation clubs in Chicago schools with more than 500 students participating. EPA is recognizing and encouraging the clubs through a Great Cities Partnership grant which enables more students to participate.

EPA will help provide ideas for educational activities and environmental projects but participants are encouraged to be creative. Planning is under way for more kick-off events in other Midwestern cities.


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