Fremont boy wins big EPA award

A seventh-grader from Fremont has been awarded a President’s Environmental Youth Award for his founding of a nonprofit focused on raising kids’ awareness of environmental issues.

Established in 1971 and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the annual award goes to one outstanding project from each of EPA’s ten regions. Projects are developed by individuals, K-12 school classes, summer camps and youth groups.

Pavan Raj GowdaPavan Raj Gowda, 12, founded Green Kids Now Inc., which aims to increase understanding of environmental issues with school programs, workshops, and online resources. It also hosts an annual “Green Kid Conference” in Mountain View, at which students and their families can learn about and explore environmental issues such as climate science and air quality, and provides resources and opportunities for children to use in their communities.

Pavan also has written two children storybooks, “Two Tales from a Kid” and “Geckoboy-The Battle of Fracking” to raise awareness of the value of community involvement in environmental issues and the side effects of hydraulic fracturing. And he serves as an international reporter for the Primary Perspectives children’s radio program in Australia.

Pavan won for EPA Region IX, which includes all of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands.

“EPA is proud to honor Pavan’s extraordinary effort to engage children in environmental action and better the lives of those in his community and future generations,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the agency’s regional administrator. “Instilling a sense of environmental stewardship in our young people is critical in ensuring our environment is protected for years to come.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

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