Seventh Grader - Pennsylvania
Honor roll student, athlete and avid bird watcher, Christopher is a seventh-grader from Pennsylvania who has accomplished much in his youth. His love for birds and the outdoors has inspired him to take on an ambitious project that has become near and dear to his heart.
“My project is called Give Willow Grove Wings,” he said. “I hope to raise money to purchase the residential land of Willow Grove Naval Air Station, which was shut down. I want to use the land as a nature preserve for birds.”
The Willow Grove Naval Air Station, located in Montgomery County, Penn., closed in 2005, and the Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority (HLRA) was appointed to decide the fate of the property. While he's only a middle school student, Christopher wasn't afraid to pitch his ideas for green space to the HLRA board, and they've already incorporated some of his plans. But Christopher is dreaming big.
Ultimately, he wants to purchase as many acres as possible at the site, which is located on the Atlantic Flyway, an important bird migration route. He envisions walking trails, bird observation towers and an educational center that will provide research opportunities for other students. He's already started fundraising.
“The way I'm raising money is through selling my bird and nature photography, ” he said.
Christopher has been invited to exhibit his photographs at a local winery and a nature center in Pennsylvania and has plans to sell them online.
The preservation of nature has been important to him ever since the third grade, when he developed a love of birding. He understands that wildlife refuges are very important for birds and other wildlife.
“I use my outside voice because if we can increase the amount of green space, nature has a better chance of thriving. And people can enjoy it for generations to come.”