Boys & Girls Clubs of NWI awarded grant for summer Junior Environmentalist Program

2014-06-18T15:33:00Z Boys & Girls Clubs of NWI awarded grant for summer Junior Environmentalist ProgramContributed by Boys & Girls Clubs of NWI nwitimes.com
June 18, 2014 3:33 pm  • 

CHESTERTON | The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana has recently developed a partnership with the Dunes Learning Center and National Park Services.

The Dunes Learning Center selected the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana to be the beneficiary of grant monies awarded to them to run a summer “Junior Environmentalist Program.” This will be a 9-week paid program working with a group of 14 teens, ranging in ages 13-17 who attend the Lake Station Club site.

“This will be a great way to expose our members to careers in the National Park Service field," Rachel Wright, Boys & Girls Clubs of NWI director of program services. "It will increase their love for the environment and introduce them to the beauty of the Indiana Dunes.”

Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist, excited about the opportunity that this program will bring local teens in his community, immediately became involved. Tuesday morning, with a group of local city workers and the 14 teens participating, Mayor Soderquist geared up in knee-high rubber boots and water-proof pants to help clean up the local marsh area behind the Lake Station Club.

Mayor Soderquist provided dumpsters, all of the gear to make this project possible, and a pizza celebration for the teens afterword. This is just a small step towards beautifying the city. After the cleanup the group of teens discussed how they felt.

“I was saddened by the amount of debris that was pulled from the marsh today," said Dakota Johnson, 2014 Youth of the Year recipient. "People deliberately disposed of tires, blinds and even a bowling ball in to the marsh.”

After the cleanup neighbors who lived around the marsh area came out and thanked the group for their efforts.

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