Magazine article Earth Island Journal

Brower Youth Awards

Magazine article Earth Island Journal

Brower Youth Awards

Article excerpt

If there is a bright spot in four years of darkness under the Bush administration's destructive environmental policies, it is the young activists who have stepped forward to challenge them. The federal government's recent rollbacks of protections for endangered wildlife and old-growth forests, refusal to address catastrophic climate change, and slashing Superfund money for toxic waste cleanup helped inspire the winners of the 2004 Brewer Youth Awards to seek solutions at the local and regional level.

Lily Dong

As a seventh grader, Lily (16, South Pasadena, California) began what became a four-year campaign to protect and restore the last remaining undeveloped area in her city. The four-acre site is part of the ancient Arroyo Seco, one of the largest tributaries of the Los Angeles River, which over the years has been filled for development, including Pasadena's Rose Bowl. By using the site for science education field trips, she demonstrated to public officials and the community the value of leaving it wild. Lily's Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park opened to the public in October.

Hannah McHardy

Hannah (18, Seattle, Washington) led demonstrations protesting timber giant Weyerhaeuser Corporation's destruction of old-growth forests and hand delivered 2,000 letters to Weyerhaeuser's CEO. She success fully lobbied the state to reform logging practices on 1.4 million acres of state-owned lands. She and her classmates also convinced their high school to switch from using virgin fiber paper to 100 percent post consumer recycled.

Billy Parish

As a student at Yale, Billy (22, New York, New York) started The Climate Campaign to take aim at global warming. He mobilized students on more than 130 campuses to take action to change their state governments' and schools' energy policies to reduce global warming emissions and bring alternative energy technologies rote the mainstream Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have now agreed to reduce their emissions to meet targets in line with the Kyoto Protocol. …

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