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Press Release

June 20, 2014

Explore, Discover and Understand Wetlands Through the Lens of a Camera

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation hosted "Explore, Discover and Understand Wetlands Through the Lens of a Camera" on Monday, June 9, 2014 at the Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands in Centre County. Students from the area and surrounding communities received experience using the latest technology to capture the natural beauty of the wetlands and its inhabitants. The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation (WFEEF), partnering with Big Froggy 101, Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile provided technology, entertainment and prizes for students, ages 13-18 from throughout the region.

After an educational briefing on the history of the wetlands and on the site's features, teams of students explored the preserve, snapping photographs of wildlife and habitat. Teams then proceeded to upload pictures onto tablets, creating short presentations featuring their best photos. These presentations were judged on quality and creativity by a panel from WFEEF, Forever Broadcasting and Best Buy. Award winners include:

13-15 Age Group Winners:
First place - Logan Holt & Josh Bloom
Second place - Bella Pusateri & Brady Albert
Third place - Caroline Bennett & Katie Finlan

15-18 Age Group Winners:
First place - Kevin Howell & Kevin Bloom
Second place - Olivia Shreffler & Emily Payne
Third place - Neil Hosterman & Darian Harman
Kevin and Kevin - 1st Place 16-18  

The Best Buy 2013 community grant focuses on helping teenagers build and improve 21st century technology skills. Working with area stores Best Buy Mobile (#2811 - Nittany Mall) and Best Buy State College (#369 - North Atherton Street), WFEEF received $6,880.04 from Best Buy to purchase cameras, tablets, a printer and other related items to use at the event and in the future.

"We were excited to be part of this project," said Best Buy Mobile Manager Julie Pichora, who was joined by numerous Best Buy employees volunteering at the event. "The outcome was fantastic and the artistic eye some of the youths have is amazing."

The Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve is comprised of over 135 acres, located along Route 220 between Julian and Martha Furnace in Centre County. The site includes about 55 acres of wetlands created by The WHM Group (based in State College with offices in Harrisburg, Delaware Valley and Western Pennsylvania); 15 acres of upland woodland; a quarter-mile of frontage on Bald Eagle Creek, which is a multi-use recreational stream stocked with trout; about 1.5 miles of trails along the wetlands; off-street parking; and 35-40 acres that could be developed by WFEEF in the future. Almost all areas were explored during the event.
  Logan and Josh - 1st Place 13-15

"We were thrilled with the turnout at our beautiful wetlands," said Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation Administrative Assistant Peg Hosterman. "Young people today can enjoy the outdoors and stay connected with technology. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the event and learned something in the process."

Winning presentations are available online at BigFroggy101.com and pictures are posted to the WFEEF Facebook page.

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation was established to provide permanent private support for wildlife habitat enhancement, wildlife research and education, land preservation, and for the establishment of a Wildlife Education and Research Center in State College. It is the only foundation that supports all 467 species of wildlife in Pennsylvania. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Foundation. More information about the Foundation's projects can be found at www.wildlifeforeveryone.org.

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