Boise, Idaho - A two-year project that restored a portion of the Boise River, improved water quality, upgraded trout habitat, and even created a beautiful riverside rest spot, has earned three Timberline High School students the prestigious President’s Environmental Youth Award(PEYA).

Since 1971, the PEYA award has been administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has offered national recognition for youth that promote environmental awareness and positive community involvement.

Carl Breidenbach, William D'Onofrio, and Nathan Wong, juniors at Timberline High School and members of Timberline’s Boise Riverbank Restoration Group, were one of only ten youth groups or schools to win the Presidential Environmental Youth Award, presented by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’re proud to recognize students for outstanding achievement and community service, “said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle, Washington. “By enhancing the environment, protecting water quality and creating a wonderful riverside rest area, these young men have earned our respect and the President’s recognition.”

After contacting the City with their proposal, the three student leaders worked with people on every level of government, non-profits and businesses. The project team exceeded their advisors’ expectations in a variety of ways: from applying for and receiving grant funding, to designing and building a durable community asset that will last for decades, even during seasonal flooding.

“These remarkable students have initiated improvements to the Boise River that will last for decades,” Boise Mayor David Bieter said. “This project will improve water quality, create a better habitat for trout and will provide a beautiful shoreline stop along the river for citizens to enjoy. We are proud to recognize these Boise students for their outstanding achievement and community service.”

The Timberline student leaders will be honored by officials from EPA, Boise City, and Boise School District in a ceremony Tuesday, April 24, in Boise City Hall.

AP Environmental Science teacher Dick Jordan, who served as the team’s sponsor, said that “this project represents an outstanding example of how students can truly make a difference and literally change the world and in the process develop communication and leadership skills that will last a lifetime.”

Annually, young people from around the country, kindergarten through high school, are invited to participate in the awards program as individuals or in groups. This is the first time that an Idaho team has been recognized for this award since the early 1980’s.

For more information on the President’s Environmental Youth Awards: