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Illinois Conservation Foundation Announces Conservation Achievement Scholarship Winner

Chris Young
Illinois Conservation Foundation Announces Conservation Achievement Scholarship Winner
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced the recipient of the 2015 Conservation Achievement Scholarship. This prestigious award was given to Emma Buckardt of Deerfield, IL. She will receive $2,000 to apply to specified expenses at the two- or four-year college or university of her choice.

"The Conservation Achievement Scholarships allow the Illinois Conservation Foundation to recognize and reward some of the outstanding natural resources stewardship efforts being conducted by young people in our state" said Wayne Rosenthal, chairman of the Illinois Conservation Foundation Board of Directors and Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “We are proud to be able to support Emma Buckardt in her academic pursuits, and we are proud of the efforts we are making every day at the ICF in furthering the cause of youth conservation education.”

Emma Buckardt’s interest in conservation comes from a life of caring, which has become the focus for her life. Since early childhood, Buckardt and her family have volunteered for the Lake County Forest Preserve District. Among the projects in which she has participated are teaching people about the importance of nature, including reaching more than 700 people one weekend through an educational skit she wrote about the decline and importance of honey bees, and preparing an insect collection. A graduate of the second class of the Center for Conservation Leadership, Buckardt served as a non-paid intern working on land management projects, including removal of invasive species and planting native species in their place.

The ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarships have been awarded since 2005. In the 11 years of this program’s existence, 60 scholarships worth a total value of $90,000 have been distributed.

“Generous donations to the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s scholarship fund make this program possible,” said Eric Schmidt, ICF Executive Director.  “Numerous outdoors enthusiasts, including organizations and individuals, help encourage the youth of our state to make a difference in the world around them and turn screen time into green time.”

Applicants for the ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarship program must be outstanding high school seniors in Illinois who have demonstrated effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection, enhancement and/or promotion of Illinois' natural resources. Other criteria also apply. Scholarship program information is available on the ICF website at http://www.ilcf.org/portal/sponsorship-opportunities

Please contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation at 217-785-2003 or dnr.icf@illinois.gov for more information or to make a donation to support the Conservation Achievement Scholarships.

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