El Dorado High School art teacher Candace Printz, well-known for promoting environmental awareness and proactive recycling efforts through her It’s Your World & Green Hope nonprofits, won an Environmental Excellence Award at the first-ever Texas Senate District 29 Environmental Excellence Recognition.
“I feel great that the years we have put into this program are now gaining attention at the local and state level because it’s going to improve the world we live in,” Printz said. “I’m also pleased that more organizations are creating programs that acknowledge and praise groups that are trying to make positive environmental change.”
The Environmental Excellence awards program was initiated by Senator José Rodríguez’ Environment Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department.
The program helps identify, articulate and strengthen a regional culture of conservation, preservation and best practices for the environment.
Printz launched the It’s Your World project in 2015 by organizing desert clean ups and making artwork from the debris that was collected. The former school club of 60 students has evolved into Green Hope Project, a non-profit organization that furthers education, the arts and environmentalism through work with scientists and engineers.
“We want to work with engineers and scientists to create solutions to the overabundance of plastic that is clogging our oceans and landfills,” she said. “We also want to re-purpose materials for housings, playgrounds, and artwork to decrease the amount of items that are discarded.”
Karl Rimkus, chairman of the EAC and Operations Manager for the El Paso Environmental Services Department said they were happy to recognize worthy endeavors in the advancement of environmental issues in our community.
“For the first time we will be able to not only highlight environmental projects worthy of recognition, but will maintain an archive of these projects for future reference and inspiration,” Rimkus said.
The EAC suggests legislation and engages in discussions that empower the community to have a role in policy change in regard to environmental affairs.
“This local, regional, and state attention is important to us because we want to continue this momentum and propel this project to higher levels,” Printz said.
The honor was awarded in April.