Explore Ecology Annual Environmental Steward Awards 2024

By Joanne A Calitri   |   May 7, 2024
Ocean Guardian mom helpers and students at the Explore Ecology Environmental Steward Awards 2024 (photo courtesy of Explore Ecology)

Congratulations to the Explore Ecology (EE) Annual Environmental Steward 2024 Award winners, officially celebrated on Sunday, April 28, at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival onstage in the Kids Corner.

Explore Ecology Marketing PR Jill Cloutier with Explore Ecology Environmental Steward Award 2024 winner Ethan Maday (photo courtesy of Explore Ecology

Each year, the EE group invites the public to submit their nominations for these important award categories of local schools and clubs. The EE team evaluates each nominee to ensure the winners demonstrate exceptional commitment and dedication to environmental stewardship, exemplify the spirit of environmental awareness, environmental action and inspire positive change in their schools and communities.

In a quick interview, EE Executive Director Lindsay Johnson explained: “Each year we receive so many inspiring nominations for the Explore Ecology Awards. We wish we could honor everyone that is nominated! The winners this year are a diverse group of teachers, students, and school clubs, all of whom exemplify excellence in environmental stewardship and community engagement. Congratulations to all of the winners for their exceptional contributions to a more sustainable Santa Barbara County.” 

EE 2024 Student Winners

Gio Alfaro, awarded for planting two trees at his school.

Ethan Maday, recognized for his advocacy of regenerative agriculture and its potential for global impact.

Margo Leven, awarded for composting at her school, leading to significant waste reduction. 

Moxi McLeod does regular beach cleanups and is a volunteer at her school garden and at the Art from Scrap Creative Reuse Store. 

EE 2024 Teacher Award Winners

Jennifer Rasmussen, Refugio High School teacher, awarded for her innovative teaching methods and the transformative impact of her hands-on learning electives. 

Lori Leach, Los Berros School teacher, honored for inspiring students by her commitment to environmental education, conservation, and sustainable practices, and oversees the school community garden.

Teri Briggs, Goleta Valley School teacher, spearheaded a restoration project at a site a half-mile from school, and promotes ecological literacy.

EE 2024 Club Awards

Kellogg Elementary School Ocean Guardians, a student action group of over 50 students, first to replace cafeteria single use plastic forks with reusable metal ones, diverting an estimated 54,000 plastic forks from landfill. Kellogg Elementary has been teaching sustainability practices and environmental education over the last six years and is a NOAA-funded Ocean Guardians school. 

Vieja Valley Elementary Clean and Green Club, founded by student Alaina Galbraith, is coordinating a school wide beach cleanup, a sustainability-focused school wide assembly, and petitioned the Hope Unified School District to transition to reusable utensils in the cafeteria to avoid single use plastic in the landfill.

411: https://exploreecology.org


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