New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) was on hand to present the awards to local students at the 31st Annual Arline Thomas Urban Bird Literacy and Arts Award Ceremony on Saturday March 20, 2010. The ceremony and program, held at the Alley Pond Environmental Center seeks to increase awareness and educate Queens school children on the wonders of nature, wildlife and environmental issues. As a part of a long-standing tradition, each year Senator Padavan presents the awards to wining students in the program. APEC is a vast 65 acre, diverse ecosystem consisting of woodlands, meadows and fresh and saltwater marshes. Padavan served as a driving force behind the establishment of APEC and continues to be an integral part in the growth and progress of the centers’ operation and efforts in the community. Senator Padavan presents an award to Christine Choi from Flushing for her participation in the Arline Thomas Urban Bird Awards as her mother looks on.