Youth Environmental Program (YEP)

Youth Environment Program


The West Virginia Youth Environmental Program was established in 1963 under the Division of Natural Resources as the West Virginia Youth Conservation Program. Its mission has not changed over the years: To provide a challenge and an opportunity to the youth of our state to participate in environmental projects within their communities.

The program is sponsored by the DEP. It is designed to unite existing youth groups such as 4-H clubs, scouts, kindergarten, elementary, junior high/middle and high schools, FFA chapters, church youth fellowships, and others toward the common goal of Making West Virginia Shine! The program provides incentive to the groups to actively participate in environmental projects such as litter cleanups, recycling drives and tree plantings. It creates an interest and enthusiasm for preserving our natural resources, with more than $15,000 in cash and other awards including a college scholarship.

Youth groups can become involved in the West Virginia Youth Environmental Program by simply enrolling at any time. There is no obligation and no cost. Each group that enrolls receives informative materials, lists of available awards, the award sponsors, project ideas, and criteria for reporting.

Youth groups enrolled in the program must submit a report of their projects to become eligible for more than $15,000 in awards. Projects are to be completed from March 16 of the current year through March 15 of the next year. These reports are judged and the winning youth groups are presented their awards at the Annual Youth Environmental Day. This year's event will be held the third Saturday in May at North Bend State Park, Cairo, West Virginia. Individual awards are also available.

Get Started

Contact Us

Annette Hoskins
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0499
Fax: (304) 957-0338
Social Media: WVDEP on Facebook

2024 Schedule of Events

  • February 14

    West Virginia Make It Shine Environmental Teacher of the Year application deadline.

  • March 15

    Deadline for Youth Environmental Program reports, posters, scholarship applications, Hall of Fame nominations and essays.

  • April 1 through 14

    Make It Shine Statewide Cleanup

  • April 22

    International observance of Earth Day

  • April 23

    Earth Day celebration at the Clay Center in Charleston

  • September 28

    Adopt-A-Highway Fall Cleanup

  • November 8 through 10

    49th Annual Youth Environmental Conference at Blackwater Falls State Park

  • November 15

    West Virginia Recycles Day

  • November 23

    WV Recycling Coalition Re-Fashion Show at Huntington Mall​​