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Children & Youth Environmental Prize 2024 awarded


On the occasion of the 7th Children & Youth Environmental Award, Mayor Christian Gerlitz and André Sack, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Energie Jena-Pößneck GmbH, presented awards to this year's winners on Saturday as part of "Your Day in Paradise". Under the motto "Our soil: just dirt?!", 10 kindergartens and two school classes took an in-depth look at the topic of soil and carried out various exciting projects.

"Soil is the basis of our lives, and not just in the literal sense, because we stand on it with both feet. It is the basis of our food, habitat, water filter and reservoir and it influences the climate. We are often unaware of how valuable soil is to us and that it is a finite resource that we need to use sparingly. I am therefore very pleased that the children and young people have dealt with this important topic this year and have implemented many great projects," said Christian Gerlitz, Mayor and Head of the Department for Urban Development and the Environment.

André Sack, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Energie Jena-Pößneck, says: "For over 25 years now, we have been committed to together environmental protection together with the city of Jena. Every year, it is impressive to see the creativity with which children and young people in Jena tackle their nature conservation projects in our competitions. We are happy to support this ecological awareness and commitment, as their creative ideas and projects also inspire others and are an important investment in the future future generations.'"

In their numerous projects, the children and young people examined soil samples, got to know soil animals, built filter systems or carried out experiments on soil sealing, among other things.

The prize winners

A joint first prize was awarded to the Am Lauensteinweg kindergarten and class 6a of the Christliches Gymnasium. The pupils had planned and successfully implemented a project day for the kindergarten children. The kindergarten children had also been working intensively on the topic for several months and had, for example, brought soil samples from their vacations and analyzed them. This commitment was rewarded with €650 each.

Two second prizes went to the Sternschnuppe daycare center and the Kinderbude kindergarten. This is the 6th time that the Kinderbude kindergarten has successfully taken part in the competition. Kita Sternschnuppe, which won the main prize in the last two years, has once again achieved outstanding educational work this year. Both kindergartens will receive €300 each.

The Janusz Korczak kindergarten and Zum Leutratal daycare center were each awarded third prize, worth €200 each, for their submitted projects.

A special prize of €100 each was awarded to the Freie Kindergarten Jena e.V. and the learning group 3/4 of the "Friedrich Schiller" state elementary school. The kindergartens Kinderzeit, Bummi, Sprachkiste and Im Ziegenhainer Tal were awarded non-cash prizes in the form of gardening vouchers.

In total, the Children & Youth Environmental Award comprises a total sum of € 2,500, which is provided by the city of Jena and Stadtwerke Energie Jena-Pößneck. Since 1998, the environmental prize has been awarded by the city of Jena for special commitment in the field of environmental protection and nature conservation. Since 2018, the prize has been awarded specifically as a children's and youth environmental prize on a specific topic.

The motto of the Environmental Award 2025 is "Instead of gray: city green!". We are looking for creative ideas and projects for greening our city. The competition is intended to encourage people to actively work towards improving the quality of life and biodiversity through even more greenery in the city. Whether green facades and roofs, green oases in the city, flowering meadows, urban gardening or tree planting campaigns - any initiative that makes Jena greener and more liveable is welcome.

Kinder, Jugendliche und Erwachsene stehen auf einer Bühne und bekommen Urkunden überreicht Bürgermeister Christian Gerlitz (rechts) und Stadtwerke Energie Jena-Pößneck-Geschäftsführer André Sack (links) übergeben Preise an Jenaer Kindergärten und Schulen. © Stadt Jena