On June 5th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the regional 2012 President’s Environmental Youth Award to members of an environmental club at Mahtomedi High School for its Zephyr Wind Project. The President’s Environmental Youth Award program is an annual contest sponsored by the EPA to honor 10 winners across the nation for their creative environmental projects developed and implemented by K-12 students.
The award is not only a huge honor for the club and Minnesota, but is also only the second time in the program’s 11 year history that winners have come from Minnesota. Of the 2012 winners, the Zephyr Wind Project was the only one to come from the Great Lakes Region.
Mahtomedi’s winning Eco club raised $100,000 to build a 10-kilowatt wind turbine next to the school’s football field to power the stadium lights, scoreboard and concession stand. The school also sells excess power to Xcel Energy. Since the turbine was installed in Sept. 2011, it has prevented 10 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere—the equivalent of planting 261 trees.
EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman commented, “This award recognized the hard work and creativity of the Mahtomedi High School students who developed this renewable energy project. The wind turbine will save energy, improve the environment and generate revenue for the school.”