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Awards for Environmentally Minded NYC High School Students Announced

Wangari Muta Maathai

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Dr. Wangari Maathai Award for Civic Participation in Sustainability. The award was inaugurated last year by The Rockefeller Foundation, the Bette Midler Family Trust, New York Restoration Project and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. MAS administers the award.

This $10,000 prize is given annually to two environmentally-minded New York City high school seniors. The winners demonstrate academic and extracurricular commitment to environmental stewardship and execution of sustainability-themed projects that also promote the spirit of civic engagement in fellow students and the community at large. The award is intended for use by the student for their first year of college. Apply now.

The award was established in honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004), a visionary environmentalist, and founder of the Green Belt Movement, a tree-planting campaign to promote sustainable development, woman’s empowerment, and democracy in Kenya. Since Dr. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, more than 45 million trees have been planted in Kenya to reduce erosion and improve the environment and impoverished communities

“The New York City Parks Department is honored to celebrate and commemorate the life of Dr. Wangari Maathai with an award honoring the next generation of environmental stewards,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “Dr. Maathai’s unique concept of enhancing the environment to reduce poverty and empower women through the Green Belt Movement is an inspiration to all. I thank The Rockefeller Foundation, the Midler Family Trust, and the Municipal Art Society for their partnership in granting this award.”

“Throughout her life, Wangari Maathai was committed to improving the well-being of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities through environmental conservation, and The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to honor her legacy with this award,” said Edwin Torres, associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We look forward to supporting the next generation of environmental stewards who are inspired by Dr. Maathai as they seek to promote the spirit of civic engagement around sustainability within their communities.”

“We are honored to continue supporting this award that fosters environmental stewardship and celebrates the life and work of Dr. Wangari Maathai,” said Bette Midler. “I hope this year’s recipients will uphold the values she stood for, by advancing themselves and inspiring those around them to lead sustainable livelihoods.”

The deadline for applications is January 5, 2014 at 5pm. Apply and read the full requirements online. The award will be presented at the MAS Annual Meeting in early 2014.