Environmental ed groups win cash

Three area organizations landed a collective $6,000 to support youth environmental education following an online voting contest hosted by Diamond Brand Outdoors, of Asheville, in partnership with Patagonia. 

  • The ecoEXPLORE program at the N.C. Arboretum earned the top spot with 1,749 votes of 3,825 votes cast, winning $2,500 plus a $500 gift card. The program combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to encourage kids to explore the outdoors while participating in citizen science. Kids earn badges and prizes as they help scientists learn about wildlife in the kids’ backyards, parks and libraries. 
  • The Youth Environmental Leadership Program at Asheville GreenWorks came in second with 1,174 votes, winning $1,500 and a $250 gift card. YELP introduces young people of color to environmental fieldwork through a six-week paid internship that allows them to work alongside professionals to gain firsthand experience in a variety of environmentally oriented careers. 
  • Third-place K-12 Watershed Education through RiverLink garnered 902 votes, winning $1,000 and a $250 gift card. The program uses hands-on, fun experiences to give kids the skills and knowledge needed to care for their watershed. 

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