Fifth Grade Class Wins Disney’s Environmentality Challenge with Wood Duck Conservation Project

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Lynda Raquel’s fifth grade John Muir Elementary School class from Stockton won first place in Disney’s Environmentality Challenge with an all-expense paid trip to Disneyland and will star in a parade down Main Street U.S.A. For the winning class project, which focused on the conservation of the Wood Duck, the students restored two vandalized nesting boxes for local Wood Ducks who suffer from a dwindling population in Stockton’s Lodi Lake area.  To drive awareness, they created a web site and “duckumentary” about the cause which they screened in the community.  Proceeds from the screening were donated to local wildlife agencies.  

Beth Stevens, senior vice president of Environmental Affairs at The Walt Disney Company, Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Marge Kohler, Acting Deputy Regional Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and AG Kawamura, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture honored the winning students at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. The celebration on Friday May 8, included:

  1. A ceremony honoring the students
  2. A parade down Main Street U.S.A
  3. Q&A sessions with the students and environmental state and federal dignitaries 

Already in its 15th year, DEC is an annual competition developed by The Walt Disney Company together with the California Department of Education, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State of California Environmental Education Interagency Network, the K-12 Alliance, and the CREEC Network. The educational program, which targets fifth graders in California, Florida, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands, encourages environmental stewardship by asking students to take an environmental pledge and complete a class project which targets a real-world environmental challenge in their community. For more program information, visit

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