Joe Martens, state Department of Environmental Conservation director, is inviting fifth graders to showcase their artistic talents and help to increase public awareness about trees in New York by participating in the annual National Arbor Day Poster Contest.
"Trees play a vital role in the lives of New Yorkers and are a vital part of our ecosystem," Martens said. "Whether someone is tapping a maple tree in early spring or relaxing in the shade of a tree on a hot summer day, trees are integral to our quality of life. I encourage fifth graders to join in our celebration of trees by drawing, sketching or painting their favorite trees and showcasing why trees are important in our daily lives."
The annual Arbor Day Poster Contest is sponsored by DEC and the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Students are asked to create an original poster depicting this year's contest theme: "New York's Forest Where We Live!" The state winner will have his or her artwork replicated as the official 2014 New York State Arbor Day bookmark and the winning poster will be presented at the annual Arbor Day Celebration in Albany. Last year, New York printed more than 200,000 Arbor Day bookmarks for distribution at schools, libraries, government offices, nursery and landscaping businesses, and environmental organizations throughout the state.
Posters must be submitted by Dec. 17 to allow time for judging and printing of the artwork as part of the celebration of Arbor Day 2014. The contest is open to all students enrolled in fifth grade. Contest packets can be obtained by contacting Sally Kellogg, DEC's poster contest coordinator, at 518-402-9425 or visiting www.dec.ny.gov/education/25420.html. Packets include background information, hands-on educational activities and contest rules.