Tycho Svoboda

Tycho Svoboda, center, received the Tolbert Award from Mayor Kelly Burk, left, and Jennifer Chu, chair of the town’s Environmental Advisory Commission.

Leesburg Town Council and Jennifer Chu, chair of the town’s Environmental Advisory Commission (EAC), on Tuesday presented Leesburg resident Tycho Svoboda with the John W. Tolbert Jr. Environmental Achievement Award.

Svoboda, a junior at Riverside High School and the Academies of Loudoun, was selected for his efforts in the “Virginia Save our Streams” program as a certified stream monitor, through which he collects samples at several stream sites in Leesburg, including Tuscarora and Goose creeks, according to town officials. He also conducts regular training for other volunteers.

“The EAC recognizes Tycho for his long-term service and impactful work in protecting water quality in Leesburg and Virginia,” Chu said. “He has donated countless hours and technological expertise to enhance and improve the stream monitoring program.”

In 2019, as part of a high school project, Svoboda developed a mobile app to automatically analyze the water quality data. Town officials say it also helped streamline data collection and data entry into the statewide database, making stream monitoring easier and more accurate. Svoboda won the 2019 Congressional App Challenge for his efforts.

Leesburg's Tolbert Award recognizes people and community groups and individuals that work to improve the town's environment.

“Such activities are vital to sustaining the quality and health of our community and significantly contribute to the long-term well-being of our town for generations to come,” the town said in announcing the award.

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