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Alachua County Environmental Team Collects Scholarship For Their Clean Up Efforts

Five friends from Newberry High School who call themselves the Newberry Environmental Girls noticed that more than 180 plastic bottles were being thrown away on campus every day. Instead of sitting back and watching the problem grow, they decided to do something about it.

This group, comprised of Dakota Herrera, Ashley Hughes, Anna Thrasher, Crystal Hall and Joyce Heckerman, is one of just 16 in the nation to be recognized in the Lexus Environmental Challenge for land-related projects. The challenge, sponsored by Toyota, is a nationwide education program and contest about the environment that empowers teens to create a better world. Through this program, middle and high school students can participate in four initial environmental challenges about land, water, air, and climate. For their efforts, each of the girls won a $500 scholarship and teacher Dr. Cynthia Holland will receive a $500 grant for the recycling project. They are now eligible to participate in the organizationís grand prize challenge in January.