2011 NATIONAL YOUTH VOLUNTEER AWARD - Carrie Ann Johnston

2011 NATIONAL YOUTH VOLUNTEER AWARD - Carrie Ann Johnston
Carrie Johnston has always had a love for nature, animals and our environment. She is especially concerned with how they all interact with each other and the outcome of adverse actions upon them. Six years ago Carrie initiated a project to clear invasive autumn olive trees from the Cedar Swamp State Wildlife Area in Delaware. Her volunteer teams cleared other non-native plants too, and planted over a thousand native trees such as American holly, popular, red maple, and cedar. Over the past years, hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been given to Carrie’s project by both young and old alike. This is an on-going environmental program that is worked on each spring. For her efforts, she was honored as the Delaware High School Young Environmentalist of the Year. The award was presented by Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara, and Deputy Secretary David Small. For the initiative and leadership she demonstrated with this project, Carrie was also awarded the Conservationist of the Year Award from Ducks Unlimited (leaders in wetlands conservation), the Boy Scout Venturing Gold Award and Girl Scout Silver Award.

Carrie took on a second project to encourage people to reduce the use of plastic bags. She attended green conventions and other community events to speak about her project and present a power point program showing how plastic bags have become blight on our environment and a danger to wildlife. Rounding up a team of volunteers, Carrie gathered the supplies and supervised the building of wooden bins that were placed at strategic places in the Smyrna-Dover area. To date, thousands of plastic bags have been recycled instead of going into landfills. She has recently received a request for two more containers to be placed at local businesses. For this project Carrie receive the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Carrie will be entering her second year at Unity College in Maine. Her major is captive wildlife care and education.