Harry Hurst receives environmental award

Published 12:02 am Saturday, May 16, 2015

DESTREHAN — The Environ-mental Leadership Awards for 2015 were recently presented with Harry Hurst Middle School Wetland Watchers from Destrehan, a program that promotes service learning, snagging a special honor.

Fifteen students, wearing green Swamp School Wetland Watchers T-shirts and representing 250 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, joined teacher Barry Guillot to receive the award.

These students won for participating in service activities to improve their local habitat and raise environmental awareness through outreach. The students, also accompanied by their principal Steven Guitterrez, received the Special Recognition Award in Community Environmental Outreach for their school.

DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch, Senate Environmental Quality Committee Chair Mike Walsworth and House of Representatives Natural Resources and Environmental Committee Chair Gordon Dove presented the awards.

“It is a great honor for the Hurst Middle Wetland Watchers Project to be selected by the Environmental Leadership Awards Committee with a Special Recognition Award,” Guillot said.

“There are so many wonderful environmental education projects in Louisiana that it is exciting to see my students and partners singled out for the hard work and effort put into every Wetland Watcher outreach and service event.”

Guillot said the students were so impressed with how pretty the trophy is, the fact there was a Louisiana Senator and a Representative present for the awards and that they were interviewed on television.

“Most of all the students were able to look at the Wetland Watchers Project through the eyes of others and see how big of a difference they are making through their service and outreach efforts,” Guillot said.

“These students have grown up with Wetland Watchers as a part of their community with older siblings and relatives participating, so it is easy for them to think that all students get these opportunities.

“To have some of the other award winners approach the students after the ceremony to tell them how much they admire the work that they do and all the places they have seen Wetland Watcher students presenting was a very proud moment.”