MGKF 13th Annual Environmental Community Service Award

Manko Gold Logo (00902610xBA9D6)

CONTACT: Julie Hayes, MGKF, Director of Marketing



$10,000 in Honorariums to be Awarded in 2018

Application Deadline – March 16, 2018

Region-Wide Search Spearheaded by

Wawa, 6abc and Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP

Philadelphia, PA (February 13, 2018) – The Environmental Community Service Award, presented by Wawa, 6abc, and the environmental law firm Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP (MGKF), celebrates more than a decade of supporting environmental programs that improve the local community. The goal of the Environmental Community Service Award is to recognize two schools (6thto 12thgrades) for their outstanding programs that enhance and improve the quality of life in their communities as well as raise awareness of environmental concerns. Understanding the importance of encouraging schools to launch or sustain environmental programs, media partner 6abc will help increase awareness of the award with their audiences throughout the Delaware Valley.

Each year two schools receive a $5,000 honorarium to further their environmental programs. The application for this year’s Environmental Community Service Award is available online at with a submission deadline of Friday, March 16, 2018. Surprise presentations will be made at the winning schools prior to Earth Day, April 22, 2018.

Since the program’s inception, 24 schools in the tri-state area have been recognized for their outstanding programs. Last year, as part of the 8th grade Science curriculum involving Sustainability, Upper Merion Area Middle School partnered with Riverbend Environmental Education Center to immerse 8th grade Science students in a yearlong project learning about Sustainability through Aquaponics. In the first half of the school year, approximately 300 8th grade students were divided into 12 small companies to create and manage a basil lemonade business. The companies were divided into divisions: CEO, Aquaponics Farming, Production, Distribution and Marketing, Finance, and Risk/Waste Management. Students were completely responsible for every aspect of the project including: cleaning/ maintaining the aquarium; growing the basil; creating a recipe from scratch; determining the environmental impact of all aspects of the business; creating a marketing plan; using a fixed budget to determine costs/profits based on the recipe and sales; and identifying ways to mitigate possible risks. Halfway through the project, 16 professional experts from each field met with the student divisions to provide feedback for their business.

Also recognized for their outstanding program was Las Américas Aspira Academy for their Outdoor Learning Environment. There are many aspects of the program that include a natural playground that a group of 8th graders has worked on throughout the school year. The student teams focused on design, budget, finance and publicity in a team effort that led to the installation of this project and native perennial plants around the school campus in March 2017. With their unique school setting of an industrial park, the Aspira Academy campus includes a stormwater retention pond and a good deal of blacktop. Their mission was to create an environment where student learning can extend outside of the classroom and wildlife can thrive. In addition, there are the following innovations at the school: In addition, there is a Monarch Waystation that was installed last Spring when about 20 of Aspira Academy students had the opportunity to tag and release over 25 monarch butterflies. They worked with to track the migration of those butterflies to their overwintering site in Mexico and make a cultural connection as a majority of the school population is Hispanic. There is also a Helping Hands Garden maintained and harvested by 100 Kindergarteners, then donated to the Brandywine Zoo for animal enrichment.


Robb Fox, partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP who founded the Environmental Community Service award more than a decade ago, is proud of what these schools have been able to accomplish through this award. “Each year we hear about new and exciting ways the schools are improving their communities and the environment. We are pleased to be able to help the schools bring their projects to the next level.”

Richard Wood, Director of Sustainability and Government Relations, for Wawa, said “We have always felt that this award program is a unique way to recognize students for their efforts to make our planet more sustainable and share their ideas and achievements with the community.”

Bernie Prazenica, 6abc President and General Manager, is proud to once again partner with the Environmental Community Service Award. “At 6abc, we take pride in the many ways we work to protect the environment and promote sustainability. The Action News team looks forward to showcasing the work of these bright, innovative students, while bringing focus to environmental concerns right here in our neighborhoods.”

In prior years, the winner schools have been The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, PA; Winslow Township Middle School in Atco, NJ; George W. Nebinger School in Philadelphia, PA; The Douglass School in Wilmington, DE; The Pathway School in Norristown, PA; South Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia; Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, PA; Abington High School in Abington, PA; Williamstown Middle School in Williamstown, NJ, Hatboro-Horsham High School in Horsham, PA, Charles F. Patton Middle School in Kennett Square, PA; Father Judge and Lincoln High Schools in Philadelphia; Epiphany of Our Lord School in Plymouth Meeting, PA; Abraham Lincoln High School – Horticultural Academy in Philadelphia; Interboro High School in Prospect Park, PA; St. Francis Xavier School in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia; Cedarbrook Middle School in Wyncote; Gateway Regional High School in Woodbury Heights, NJ; W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, Philadelphia.; Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School in West Phila; Friends Central Middle School in Merion, PA; and Camden High School in Camden, N.J.

The individuals who judge the programs are all experts in the field of the environment and science. They are representatives from The Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection,

and Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with someone representing each sponsor — Wawa, 6abc, and MGKF.

The Environmental Community Service Award application is available to download at It can be sent electronically but it must be signed by a school official and sent from an official school e-mail address. Electronic applications are accepted at or a hardcopy can be sent by mail to MGKF, Attn: Environmental Award, 401 City Avenue, Ste. 901, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For general information, contact Manko Gold’s Director of Marketing, Julie Hayes (; 484-430-2352).

About Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP:

Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP concentrates its practice in environmental, energy, and land use law and litigation. It represents clients ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to small, privately held enterprises, both in the Mid-Atlantic Region and on a national basis. Their commitment to education is manifested in the lawyers’ participation in environmental programs outside the office. MGKF is honored to be the top-rated law firm, since 2011, in the Top Workplaces surveys by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and

About Wawa, Inc.:

Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960’s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 780 convenience retail stores (over 550 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. The stores offer a large fresh food service selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, Specialty Beverages, and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. In 2016 and 2017 Wawa was recognized in Forbes as one of America’s Best Large Employers, a survey-based ranking of employers offering the best associate experiences and strongest opportunities. In 2017 Wawa was the recipient of a Silver Plate Award in the category of Retail & Specialty Foodservice by the International Foodservice Manufacturers’ Association during their 63rd Annual Award Event. Wawa was also designated as a 2017 Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

About 6abc:

6abc Action News is the #1 local news brand in the tri-state, and the undisputed news leader for the past 35 years., the official website of Action News, is also the #1 local TV news website in the market. WPVI-TV is the ABC-owned station serving the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.