Eco-Hero finalist: Meet Justine Padron

The winner of our Local 10 Eco-Hero contest wins a wild adventure trip

By Kristi Krueger - Anchor/Health Reporter

This is the first of five Local 10 Eco-Hero finalists that are competing to win a Eco-Adventure to the Canadian Rockies with Kristi Krueger and Zoo Miami's Ron Magill. After the five finalists are introduced, the public will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - When it comes to protecting the environment, 13-year-old Justine Padron isn't afraid to get a little dirty.

Whether it's growing tomatoes in her own backyard, or working in her school's Green Club garden, this 7th grader at Jose Marti MAST Academy is passionate about nature.

"One of the things that got me interested in ecology and the ecosystem is my grandma," Padron says. "She's really into gardening."

Justine participates in Baynanza every year, a community clean-up project in Biscayne Bay.

She also makes eco-friendly terrariums for her friends and volunteers at South Florida parks.

Justine says for her, everything science is fascinating!

"It's kind of mind blowing that there are all these things that connect to each other," says Padron. "Plants and animals connect to us, even computers and technology. It all connects and I find it interesting."

And talk about interesting, one of Padron's experiments is using talapia fish to discover if natural fertilizer is better for plants than the man-made version.

Justine hopes her enthusiasm for environment inspires others.

"I find it cool that you get to do all these things and help the environment," says Padron. "And it makes me feel good that I'm doing something better for someone else other than myself."

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