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New Junior Environmentalist Program Takes Root

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A new partnership program between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, the Dunes Learning Center and National Park Services is taking root. According to the boys and girls club, the Dunes Learning Center chose the organization to receive grant monies to run a summer "Junior Environmentalist Program."
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Picture-from top of circle to the left-Marcy Clough, Gail Cross, Autre Driver, Mayor Keith Soderquist, Kip Walton, Dakota Johnson, DeAngelo Romer, Steven Foe, Angelina Warner, Lily Tholl, Kylan Conner, Clifford Alvino, James Dabney, Michael Lowe, Dylan Alcocer,  and Adam Clough.

Rachel Wright of the Boys and Girls Clubs says that the nine week paid program works with a group of about a dozen teens, ranging in age from 13 to 17 who attend the Lake Station club location. Wright says, "This will be a great way to expose our club members to careers in the National Park Service filed, increase their love for the environment and introduce them to the beauty of the Indiana Dunes. Excited about the opportunity local teens will have, Mayor Keith Soderquist on Tuesday, reportedly donned knee-high rubber boots and water-proof pants and joined teens in helping clean up the local marsh area behind the Lake Station Club.
Mayor Soderquist provided dumpsters, all of the gear to make this project possible, and a pizza celebration for the teens afterword. This is just a small step towards beautifying the city. After the cleanup the group of teens discussed how they felt. Dakota Johnson, 2014 Youth of the Year winner said, “I was saddened by the amount of debris that was pulled from the marsh today. People deliberately disposed of tires, blinds and even a bowling ball in to the marsh.” After the cleanup neighbors who lived around the marsh area came out and thanked the group for their efforts.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana was founded in 1954 in Gary, Indiana. Currently Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana operates six Club sites in six cities throughout Lake County Indiana. Serving more than 7,000 youth ages 6 to 18 years of age, our organization provides Club programs and services that promote and enhance the positive development of boys and girls. The core belief of the organization, Board of Directors, staff, and donors is that all six Club sites provide youth with a safe place to learn and grow, teach youth to develop interpersonal relationships, to provide youth with life-enhancing programs and character and development experiences and last but not least to continue providing youth with hope and opportunity. For more information about BGCNWI visit (http://www.bgcnwi.org).  Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BGCNWI.
(photo/Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana)


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