Youth Day celebrates 50th year


Saturday, May 18 will mark the 50th Anniversary of Youth Environmental Day, which is a day set aside each year for youth groups from around the state to gather at North Bend State Park to be recognized for their efforts to promote a healthy environment.
Nearly $15,000 in awards are given to groups enrolled in the state’s Youth Environmental Program that submit reports about projects such as recycling drives, school landscaping efforts, litter cleanups, tree planting and watershed protection efforts in their local communities.

Awards are made possible by companies that contribute donations, such as DuPont Washington Works, which contributed $5,000 to the program this year in observance of its own 65th Anniversary.

“The Youth Environmental Program inspires West Virginia’s young people to take an interest in the environment by carrying out projects that improve communities, save natural resources and decrease the amount of waste going into landfills, being thrown on the ground or ending up in rivers and streams,” said Karl J. Boelter, plant manager at DuPont Washington Works. “DuPont Washington Works’ mission supports these same deeds and is very pleased to be a part of this sustainability endeavor.”

Diana Haid, program manager for the Department of Environmental Protection’s Youth Environmental Program said, “The DuPont Washington Works generous contribution not only increases the number of awards, but allows us to increase the dollar amount of many of the awards that will be presented to the most deserving youth groups throughout the state. I encourage all youth groups enrolled in the program to submit reports of their annual community environmental projects by the April 15 deadline to be eligible to win an award.” 

In addition to the group awards, the Rick Vecellio Memorial scholarship will be presented on Youth Day. The four-year scholarship in the amount of $2,500 per year is given to one West Virginia high school student who is a member of an enrolled youth group and who has participated in environmentally focused community projects.

The 50th Anniversary Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. at North Bend State Park’s Shelter #3. In addition to the presentation of the awards, Mountaineer Mascot Jonathan Kimble will make an appearance at noon and the 130th Airlift Wing has been requested to fly over the area at 1 p.m. There will be displays, a fishing derby, volleyball games, a hike on the rail trail and a dance is scheduled that evening for the youth groups camping overnight.

For more information about the Youth Environmental Program Awards and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Day, please contact Diana Haid at 304-926-0499, extension 1114 or at Information is also available on the Youth Environmental Program page on this Web site. 


Kathy Cosco