Izabella Mitchell of AV-W Wins Vilas County Poster Contest

Written by Cathy Higley

The winner of the 2021 Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Poster Contest is Izabella Mitchell of Arbor Vitae – Woodruff Elementary School. The Vilas County Youth Conservation Poster Contest is held annually to promote youth awareness of local land and water conservation issues. Vilas County Land & Water staff partner with teachers, home schoolers, and other educators to offer lessons that meet academics standards. This year’s theme of “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities” meant a virtual lesson on forest management, multi-use management, and a virtual interview with the DNR’s Vilas County Forester Jill Nemec.

“With the covid pandemic, many educators are working long hours to stay on top of students’ learning.  Thank you to Mr. Wauters and Mrs. Dunsmoor for promoting the contest to their students in spite of their workload,” complements Cathy Higley, the contest coordinator with Vilas County Land & Water.

The Olson Memorial Library managed poster intake and the People’s Choice Award voting.  Voting will be open until the end of January 2021 on the Olson Memorial Library website.  Vote for your favorite poster!

The Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association offered to up the ante this year on prizes for students.  The Discovery Center and The Waters of Minocqua also contributed to prizes.  Prizes included:  4 day passes to The Waters of Minocqua, a certificate to Discovery Center programming; a 2021 DNR State Parks & Forests Annual Pass; and a Whitewater boardgame.

Volunteer judges Ryan Brown (DNR Forestry); Emily Heald (Discovery Center); and Nancy Schwartz (Land O’Lakes Arts) dedicated their time to offer scoring and feedback to all students on their posters.  Thank you to all who helped make this contest happen in spite of the pandemic!

The winning poster created by Izabella Mitchell will move on to compete with nine other county winners in WI.  Congratulations Izabella!

Any educators interested partnering with the Vilas County Youth Conservation Poster or Speaking contests for the 2021-2022 school year can contact Cathy Higley with Vilas County Land & Water Conservation at or 715-479-3738.

Standings for Division Grades 4-6
Student Name  School Place
Izabella Mitchell AVW Elementary 1
Maya Anderson AVW Elementary 2
Kendra Jeschke AVW Elementary 3
Sylviann Berklund AVW Elementary Honorable mention
Aubree Williams AVW Elementary Honorable mention
Victoria Reichel AVW Elementary Top 10
Miranda Schneider AVW Elementary Top 10
Avalon Collins AVW Elementary Top 10
Nahla Sloan AVW Elementary Top 10
Zackary Amershek AVW Elementary Top 10


Cathy Higley is the Invasive Species Coordinator at Vilas County Land & Water Department and also serves as an adviser to VCLRA.