Brooklyn, NY, June 30, 2008 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) education initiative, Teens for Planet Earth, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2008 Service Awards, which recognize teens around the world for service-learning projects that demonstrate their commitment to the environment. 

Winners of the Gold Service Awards include: Kubiti Teak Plantation Group, Jasikam, Ghana; Soldiers of the Environment, Mbeya, Tanzania; Southern Idaho Squirrel Squad, Idaho, USA; and Team B.E.E.S., New Jersey, USA.

Winners of the Silver Service Awards include:  Deer Creek Dreamers, Oklahoma, USA; Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Interns, New York, USA; Girl Scout Troop #50, Ohio, USA; Mafanikio Group, Mbeya, Tanzania; Perspective, Vorniceni Village, Republic of Moldova; Rafiki Wa Mazingira, Mbeya, Tanzania; Team W.I.L.D., North Dakota, USA; T.R.E.E., Washington, USA; Turtle Talks, Florida, USA; Wetlands Education Team, Ohio, USA; and Wild Gals of Stone, Alabama, USA.

Selection is highly competitive.  As part of the team’s application, they must submit a report with specific project data, photo documentation, testimonials, and more.  Judging was performed by a panel of judges from WCS.  This year, there were 4 gold awards, 11 silver awards, and 10 bronze awards.

Teens for Planet Earth is an initiative of the Bronx Zoo’s Education Department that guides groups of young people through service-learning projects focused on helping the environment in their own community. The program is based on the Zoo’s award-winning Girls for Planet Earth, which aimed to increase participation by girls and young women in the conservation sciences. Since its inception in 2006, Teens for Planet Earth currently has 116 teams consisting of 391 teens, and 320 adult advisors in 33 countries.

This program aims to encourage science skills, conservation ethics, and community service among a wider audience of young people. In addition to supporting teens, Bronx Zoo educators hold Leadership Institutes at the Bronx Zoo each October in which they lead adult advisors through interactive activities that explore the challenges of working with teams, group dynamics, how groups can network with experts and legislators, how to motivate teens by using zoos and other living institutions, and more. They also explore the interactive Teens for Planet Earth website and learn useful tools for planning and implementing a successful project.

For more information and to see the Bronze Service Award winners, please visit the Teens for Planet Earth website at:

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. To learn more about WCS, visit

Linda Corcoran, 718-220-5182