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2010 Contest

“Conserving and Protecting the Land of Lincoln!”

Students recognized for creativity on the importance of protecting land resources

On Saturday, April 10, Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott honored a group of distinguished Illinois fifth and sixth grade students selected for their creative skills, which they used to express environmental awareness. The writers and artists selected from throughout Illinois were recognized at a reception at the Hall of Flags and Auditorium in the Howlett Building in downtown Springfield.

The ceremony recognized the students for their talents and efforts and concluded the Agency’s 23rd annual Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest. This year’s lesson focused on the importance of protecting the land and with “Conserving and Protecting the Land of Lincoln” as the event’s theme.

“The environmental decisions we make today will affect these students in the future,” said Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott. “Part of environmental stewardship is educating others, and I am confident that these students will continue to educate their communities to make good environmental decisions.”

Each spring, students learn about environmental protection of the air, land, and water through the Agency’s environmental education guide, “Environmental Pathways –Youth Investigating Pollution Issues in Illinois.” Following the completion of the guide, students use their creative talents to visually articulate, in the form of a poster or a written work, their ideas of how they can protect our precious resources – air, land, and water. Special emphasis is given to one of those three areas on an annual, rotating basis with this year’s focus being on the preservation and protection of Illinois’ land.

“I created this poster to stress the importance of keeping our world together because after all it is where we live,” said poster winner Aneri Patel. “I believe everyone has the ability to create and destroy Earth, and this poster was made in hope that it could make a difference.”

“My poem is about the environment and its importance to the people, plants, and animals of the State of Illinois,” said poetry winner Rose Kotch. “We all must make an extra effort to help keep our state clean.”

A panel from the Illinois EPA judged all entries and selected the finalists, whose entries were then judged by an outside panel of authorities, to determine the top twelve winners.

The students, their families, and teachers were invited to the reception at which the top 12 winners received U.S. savings bonds and environmental reference books for their school libraries. The winners, along with all finalists, also received certificates and ribbons for their creative efforts.

Following the ceremony, the winning entries will be on exhibit in the atrium at Illinois EPA’s Springfield headquarters from April 6 through May 4.

Poetry/Prose Top Award Winners:

Elizabeth Chuma

Freemont Middle School

Annie Finneran

Herbert Hoover School

Rose Kotch

Pleasant Lane School

Lauren Pinney

A-C Central Middle School

Margaret Rauch

Prince of Peace School

Hayden Wagner

Cathedral of St. Raymond School

Posters Top Award Winners:

Grace Barbic

Cathedral of St. Raymond School

Jaeyoung Kim

Washington School

Aneri Patel

Washington School

Samantha Schubbe

Herbert Hoover School

Kolby Vandenbergh

A-C Central Middle School

Matthew Zhang

Countryside School

In addition to the award, tours of the Capitol and the Illinois State Museum were given to winners before and after the awards ceremony.

Information about the annual event can be obtained by contacting Kristi Morris, environmental education coordinator for the Illinois EPA at 1021 North Grand Avenue E., P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL, 62794-9276.