HomeNewsHopkins student wins President's Environmental Youth Award from EPA

Hopkins student wins President’s Environmental Youth Award from EPA

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Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), announced the 2023 recipients of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA).

At the top of the list was 4th grader at the Hopkins school, Aanya Soni, who in 2021 started a campaign to protect our town’s turtle population. She wrote a letter to Conservation Commission’s Ed Harrow asking him to explore ways to keep Hopkinton’s turtles safe from vehicles. Touched by her letter, Harrow worked with other members of Con Comm and the Department of Public Works to have turtle crossing signs placed where turtles are known to inhabit.

In May 2021 Soni was the subject of a featured article in the Hopkinton Independent.

The EPA’s announcement reads “(Aanya took) straightforward action for an achievable solution: the signs remind drivers to take caution, saving turtle lives in the process. This is the first time such an action has been taken in Hopkinton, and the event has helped educate residents. Since 2021, turtle crossing signs have been placed at critical locations from the spring until the fall (when turtle precautions are most necessary). As time will prove, Aanya’s activism will not only save the lives of her favorite animal, but also save the lives of others, reminding drivers to always take nature into consideration.”

The PEYA was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1970 and recognizes outstanding community-level environmental projects by K-12 youth that promote awareness of natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Each year, PEYA honors a variety of local projects developed by students, school classes, summer camp attendees and youth organizations to promote engagement in environmental stewardship and protection.

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  1. This is awesome! We are lucky to have a couple of your turtle crossing signs in my neighborhood. Congratulations Aanya!

  2. God bless you Aanya!!! I hope your action is infectious and others will follow suit…we need more of you!!!! Turtles are sooooo vulnerable on the roads or anywhere…thank you!!!!


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