Bronx, NY, June 19, 2009 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) education initiative, Teens for Planet Earth, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 Service Awards, which recognize teens around the world for service-learning projects that demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

Winners of the Gold Service Awards include:

Aquatic Life Group
Location: Mbeya, East Rungwe, Tanzania
Team Members: Lutufyo Abel, Ipyana Adamson, Joseph Ambele, Elikana Hezrom, Bupe Jackson, Pyelesya Salwiba

Project Jatropha Team
Location: Pleasant Hill, California, USA
Team Members: Apoorva Rangan, Callie Roberts, Adarsha Shivakumar

Spot the Checkerspot
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio, USA.
Team Members: Emily Weatherhead

Winners of the Silver Service Awards include:

Environment Advocate Group
Location: Mbeya, East Rungwe, Tanzania
Team Members: Lusajo Jackson, Rehema John, Savino Maligo, Anifa Mika, Hekima Mwasakalile, Gabriel Samson

Environmental Elephants
Location: Hohoe, Volta Region, Ghana
Team Members: Klu Judith Abran, Mary Adowa Donkor, Stephen Agbanyo, Charity Agbemor

Going Green….It’s Easy!
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Team Members: Dipona Bandy

Obia Uganda Solar Cooking Project
Location: Strongsville, Ohio, USA
Team Members: Max Ozimek

Siyu Young Volunteers Coalition
Location: Yun Nan, China
Team Members: Siyu Liu

Location: Mbeya, East Rungwe, Tanzania
Team Members: Frida Abel, Makene Brown, Mpeli Jasson, Beatrice Mdemu, Emmy Mwasankobela, Furahisha Shadrack

Wetlands Education Team
Location: Chesterland, Ohio, USA
Team Members: Shawn Cooper, Zak Kucera, Clay McMullen, Isabella Todaro, Kelli Wright

Selection is highly competitive. As part of the team’s application, they must submit a report with specific project data, photo documentation, testimonials, and more. Judging was performed by a panel of judges from WCS. This year, there were 3 gold awards, 7 silver awards, and 9 bronze awards.

Teens for Planet Earth is an initiative of the Bronx Zoo’s Education Department that guides groups of young people through service-learning projects focused on helping the environment in their own community. The program is based on the Zoo’s award-winning Girls for Planet Earth, which aimed to increase participation by girls and young women in the conservation sciences.

This program aims to encourage science skills, conservation ethics, and community service among a wider audience of young people. In addition to supporting teens, Bronx Zoo educators hold Leadership Institutes at the Bronx Zoo each October in which they lead adult advisors through interactive activities that explore the challenges of working with teams, group dynamics, how groups can network with experts and legislators, how to motivate teens by using zoos and other living institutions, and more. They also explore the interactive Teens for Planet Earth website and learn useful tools for planning and implementing a successful project.

For more information and to see the Bronze Service Award winners, please visit the Teens for Planet Earth website at:

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. To learn more about WCS, visit

The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, Tyco International (US) Inc., and The Bay and Paul Foundations provide major support for Teens for Planet Earth. WCS gratefully acknowledges these contributions.

Mary Dixon