Daryn Smolinksi, Mollie Waltz, and Clark Higley are the winners of the 2022 Vilas County Land & Water Youth Conservation Poster Contest.
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 Land & Water staff were able to go into classrooms with soil samples and vegetables to teach the theme of “Healthy Soil: Healthy Life”.
“I love how this contest allows the students to become the teachers in our community on conservation issues,” comments Cathy Higley, poster contest coordinator. “Based on their posters, many seemed to well-understand that soil is a living resource, and that we need to nurture it if we expect it to continue to provide all the services it does like growing food and forest products, recycling our wastes (think of your septic system), and cleaning our water.”
First place winners were Daryn Smolinksi, 6th grader at Arbor Vitae Woodruff Elementary; Mollie Waltz, 2nd grader, and Clark Higley, Kindergartener, both from Montessori Learning Center.
The Olson Memorial Library managed poster intake and the People’s Choice Award. Lauren Thielman, 6th grader at Arbor Vitae Woodruff Elementary, and Mollie Waltz, 2nd grader at Montessori Learning Center won 1st place for the People’s Choice Award.
The Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association covered cash costs this year on prizes for students. The North Lakeland Discovery Center, The Waters of Minocqua, and the Northwoods Children’s Museum also contributed to prizes.
Lauren Thielman, 6th grader AVW Elementary won the Olson Library’s People’s Choice award for her poster pictured at right. Mollie Waltz, 2nd grader at MLC (whose first-place winning poster is shown above) also won the People’s Choice award.
Volunteer judges Candice Strand (AVW Art Teacher); Tim Botting (Natural Resources Conservation Service); and Carolyn Ritter (Vilas County Board) dedicated their time to offer scoring and feedback to all students on their posters. The winning posters will move on to compete with nine other county winners in WI.
Any educators interested partnering with the Vilas County Youth Conservation Poster or Speaking contests for the 2022-2023 school year can contact Cathy Higley with Vilas County Land & Water Conservation at email@example.com or 715-479-3738.