Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 19, 2004) – A co-ed scouting troop and a long–time environmental educator shared top honors at the 28th annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment, presented today in the Blue Heron Center at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. The Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 202 and Stephen Barry of the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center won in the youth and adult categories respectively.

The Tawes Award is an environmental recognition program sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Petroleum Council (MPC) in the name of late Maryland Governor J. Millard Tawes, who was also the state's first secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The award is open to any individual, civic, community, or non-profit entity that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to enhance Maryland's environment over a period of time or with a single project.

“The people who are here today are on the front lines of making a positive change in Maryland’s environment,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “They rolled up their sleeves and got to work and set an example for all of us who want to see real, lasting accomplishments that will benefit their communities and all Marylanders.”

The Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 202 of Carroll County was formed in June 2002 and is composed of boys and girls between 14 and 20-years old who have participated in numerous environmental restoration, protection and education activities. Some of the activities include: a Chesapeake Bay riparian buffer re-establishment effort with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and DNR Forestry Service; a survey of federally endangered bog turtles and a bog turtle habitat restoration project; wetland restoration work at Fort McHenry with the National Aquarium; a cleanup of country roads in Frederick County; stream monitoring and an elementary school environmental education project.

Stephen Barry is Outdoor Education Director for the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Crownsville (Anne Arundel County) and is a well-respected leader in the environmental education field.

He has worked with the Anne Arundel County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program to host the Master Gardeners’ Annual Conference the past two years. His hands-on work has assisted the Chesapeake Connections Program and the Native Plant Gardens Project of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools that encourages the development of native plant gardens and reduction of nutrient pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. The program is unique in Maryland because no other system and master gardener program has developed a similar effort targeted toward homeowner contributions to non-point source nutrient pollution.

Barry’s other projects include utilizing native plants in shoreline restorations, propagation of the endangered Atlantic white cedar and Northern pitcher plant and creation of demonstration bogs.

The Runner-up in the youth category was Thomas Lee Fink a student at Bowie High School in Prince George’s County. Fink restored and enhanced a neglected pond that was built at the high school in 1965. He enlisted advice and assistance from instructors, a local pool manager, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a Boy Scout Webelos troop, and others to seal cracks in the pond, prune surrounding trees and clean the pond. He also developed educational fact boards to describe plant and animal species in the pond and installed a park bench.

The Runner-up in the adult category was Richard Penhallegon, an instructor at Cockeysville Middle School in Baltimore County. Penhallegon was instrumental in gaining ‘Maryland Green School’ certification for his workplace and with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service established an environmental study area that is available for community use. The study area includes a system of trails with a meadow, woodlands, wetland and enhanced habitat for wildflowers and native plants and wildlife.

A panel of judges chooses the Tawes Award winners and runners-up. Last year’s winners included Woodson Middle School in Somerset County and the Mt. Savage Historic Society and Beautification Committee.

For more information on the Tawes Award for a Clean Environment, please call (410) 269-1850 or MDE's Office of Communications at (410) 537-3003.

Youth Category

2004 Tawes Awards Youth Category Winner - Boys Scouts of America Venturing Crew 202

MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick (left) congratulates BSA Venturing Crew 202 members Kenny Mack and Garret Werner as MPEC Executive Director Drew Cobbs (right) looks on.

2004 Tawes Awards Youth Category Runner-Up - Thomas Fink

Tom Fink, right, of Bowie High School, is congratulated by MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick for earning runner-up in the youth category.

Adult Category

2004 Tawes Awards Adult Category Winner - Stephen Barry

MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick (left) congratulates Stephen Barry, of Davidsonville, as MPEC Executive Director Drew Cobbs (right) looks on.

2004 Tawes Awards Adult Category Runner-Up - Richard Penhallegon

Richard Penhallegon, right, of Baltimore, is congratulated by MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick for earning runner-up in the adult category.