“As a child, I learned the importance of protecting our environment because I was fortunate to grow up in Western New York where there are so many beautiful places to enjoy the outdoors. To continue that tradition, I am proud to offer one student a free week at one of our state’s fine environmental education camps, where they can not only learn about protecting our environment, but can develop a passion for the outdoors,” said Hawley.
Students between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible to enter the essay contest. Essays should be between 300 and 500 words and explain why the environment is important to the student. Last year’s winner, Albion High School student Rebecca Weller, used her essay to describe her passion for spending time outdoors with her family and her efforts to protect the environment, such as her innovative t-shirts promoting green living tips, facts on global warming and Earth Day, in order to ensure the natural environment is sustained for generations to come.
Assemblyman Hawley encourages educators to include the essay program as part of their curriculum in order to highlight Earth Day on April 22. Essays are due to the Assemblyman’s office by May 1, 2009. The winner may choose from the following four DEC summer camps:
- Camp Colby (near the Village of Saranac Lake in Franklin County)
- Camp DeBruce (in the southern Catskills near the Village of Livingston Manor in Sullivan County)
- Camp Rushford (in the Genesee River Valley in Allegany County)
- Camp Pack Forest (north of Warrensburg in the southern Adirondacks)