Teens chosen to lead youth conservation efforts

Press Staff Writer

        The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) welcomed 42 new students as members of the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC) for the upcoming school year.
        Local students joining the council include Gibsonburg High School senior Morgan Albanese and Eastwood High School sophomore Sophia D'Amore.
        ConTAC members serve as a voice of Ohio’s youth to ODNR to help expand reach, impact, and conservation efforts.
        “The future of Ohio’s natural resources is in the hands of young people like this group,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “I am inspired by their passion for nature and can’t wait to see the ideas they bring to the table.”
        Members will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies and campaigns that best represent Ohio’s young people. In the past, the students have helped with presentations for the Great Lakes Commission, participated in stream clean-ups/litter pick-ups, crafted social media posts, shadowed staff, and much more. They are then encouraged to take those experiences and the skills learned into their communities.
        The new ConTAC team joins 18 returning members. The group spans across 28 counties and accounts for 45 Ohio schools.  A kick-off meeting was held at Alum Creek State Park on Aug. 13.
        ConTAC members serve a minimum of one year on the council. They will dedicate approximately 10 hours per quarter to this work. Learn more about the group and its mission on the ODNR website, ohiodnr.gov.
Academic honors
        Terra State Community College: Heather Hornstein, of Curtice.
        Canisius College: Grant Meyer, of Curtice.
        Kent State University: Markayla Banks, Adrianna Beltran, of Toledo; Kennedy Coughlin, Lillian Czop, Victoria DiLucia, Ailene Joven, Alexandria Manthey, Justin Twining, Kendall Wells, of Oregon;
        Elizabeth Koenig, Madeline Shuler, of Elmore; Emily Ankenbrandt, Abigail Bigelow, Sabrina Niedbalski, of Genoa; Rachel Booth, of Luckey; Alexis Meinhardt, of Millbury;
        Brent Bostater, Zerica Filipiak, Tara Huffman, Chance Milledge, Erica Winters, of Oak Harbor; Lily Phommalee, of Pemberville; Tristan Tracy, of Woodville.
        Kent State University: Ailene Joven, Justin Twining, of Oregon; Elizabeth Koenig, of Elmore; Brent Bostater, Zerica Filipiak, Tara Huffman, of Oak Harbor.
        Miami University: Nick Kozma, of Northwood, Connor Chapinski, of Millbury, Tyler Fry, of Pemberville.
        Trine University: Mason Ensign, of Oregon.


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