Eric Fuchs-Stengel, a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, has been named New Jersey’s “Environmentalist of the Year” by Governor Chris Christie.
Fuchs-Stengel, the founder and executive director of the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO), and other recipients of the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards were honored this week during a ceremony at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
“Through their dedication to environmental protection, these award winners set an example for everyone to follow,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. “The winners and all of those who participated have set a very high standard for environmental excellence. Governor Christie and I commend their leadership.”
Fuchs-Stengel founded MEVO in 2008 as a high school junior. The organization aims to educate residents in Mahwah—his hometown—and those throughout New Jersey about being environmental stewards and to engage them in volunteer projects. Fuchs-Stengel has attracted some 1,500 volunteers who have dedicated more than 20,000 hours to community projects, including trash and tire cleanups, trail construction projects, education projects on community farming and beekeeping, and recycling bins and compost system projects.
MEVO is now working with the Bergen County Parks Department on a community farm project.
This is the 14th year that the DEP has hosted an environmental leadership awards program. The program is co-sponsored by the DEP and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.