Teaching has been a major part of her life for decades, and when it comes to children, there’s one topic Dr. Aline Euler said was critical to the future.
“It’s important to make sure that the young generation understands nature so they can protect and preserve it,” Euler said to a packed theater inside the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing. “We need to take care of our resources and not plunder them.”
Euler is the director of education for Little Neck’s Alley Pond Environmental Center and lives in Bayside, which explains why she drew a large crowd when honored by the United Nations Association’s Queens chapter Saturday afternoon. The ceremony was part of an Earth Day ceremony, marking the beginning of spring and raising environmental awareness.
UNA President John Tandana said Euler was being honored for “helping make APEC what it is today,” through decades of dedication and teaching children about their environment.
“Aline became involved early on with APEC and she never left,” Tandana said. “She believes young people can maintain the right attitude for life if taught at an early age.”
Margaret Shannon, of the UNA, introduced Euler before she accepted her recognition and said her work with APEC was invaluable.
“We hope she continues to change the world one student at a time,” Shannon said. “We all benefit from her work.”
The Alley Pond Environmental Center is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to teaching children and adults in the New York area. In doing so, the group also works to preserve Little Neck’s roughly 65-acre Alley Pond Park.
“When you’re there, you don’t feel like you’re in New York City,” Tandana said.
Euler accepted her award in the company of various APEC members as well as former state Sen. Frank Padavan. She said the former senator was the first to provide APEC with significant funding and was critical to the group’s growth in recent years.
The Earth Day ceremony also included a minute of silence for peace accompanied by a bell ringing, from which the group marked the beginning of spring. There were various performances, including a Wianek Polish folk dance, a piano recital by Anh Nguyen, a cello performance from Jacob Cohen and a children’s choir.
Upon receiving her award of recognition, Euler spoke of APEC’s growing reach through various educational programs, which included thousands of children.
“It’s our young children who will have to fight to save the planet,” Euler said, speaking of a planet that has grown to almost 7 billion people, depleting natural resources. “We all could do something to help.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2012 Community News Group
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