Delaware Forest Service’s 2015 Arbor Day School Poster Contest


This winning poster from a previous contest by Rachel Winston illustrates the 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest theme: "Trees are terrific... inside and out!"
This winning poster from a prior contest by Rachel Winston illustrates the 2015 Arbor Day School Poster Contest theme: “Trees are terrific… inside and out!” Last year, more than 105 classes in 41 schools participated in the annual competition.

Delaware Forest Service’s 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest and Free Seedling Program The Delaware Forest Service is holding its annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest, open to all Delaware students in grades K to 5. Public, private and home schools are encouraged to participate and posters are welcome from after-school groups and youth organizations. This year’s contest theme is “Trees are Terrific… Inside and Out.” To participate, teachers must register their classes by March 13 and submit posters by the deadline of March 27. As in previous years, classes that participate can also request free pine seedlings on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year’s theme is designed to teach students about the structural components of trees and how these components help a tree function. This lesson can be adapted for grades K to 5 and makes an excellent addition to the K-5 science curriculum. The poster contest is also an important way for students to learn more about the role trees play in community health and well-being and can help students foster an appreciation for the natural world around them. As always, the Delaware Forest Service will provide all participating classes with free loblolly pine seedlings. The web link for contest registration is at Teachers can use the site to:

  1. Register for participation in the 2015 contest
  2. Reserve pine seedlings for students
  3. Access the poster guidelines and rules

Important dates:

  1. Deadline to register and reserve free seedlings: March 13, 2015
  2. Deadline to submit posters for state contest: March 27, 2015
  3. State Award Ceremony: Week of May 6, 2015 (tentative based on Governor Markell’s schedule)
  4. Last year’s winning posters:
  5. Seedling delivery: Week of April 20, 2015
  6. 2015 Arbor Day in Delaware: Friday, April 24

State Judging Criteria On a scale of 1-5, the following criteria are used to judge posters on the county and state level. These should be kept in mind when submitting posters:

  1. Use of Theme
  2. Originality
  3. Neatness
  4. Artistic Expression

Prizes Awarded to Winners A winner for each county (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex) will be selected for each entry category (Grades K, 1-2, 3-4, and 5). From these 12 winners, an overall state winner will be selected to represent Delaware as we celebrate Arbor Day 2015. Please note: the National Arbor Day Foundation is no longer hosting a National Poster Contest for fifth grade winners. The Delaware Forest Service is committed to continuing the Arbor Day Poster Contest at the state level. County winners receive:

  1. $25 gift card
  2. ceremonial tree planting held at their school
  3. invitation to the State Arbor Day Ceremony (attended by the Governor)
  4. “Tree inspired” children’s book
  5. winning posters will be reprinted on canvas, framed for display, and given to winner as a keepsake
  6. winning posters will be displayed online. Please visit to see the 2014 Arbor Day winners.
  7. In addition to the previous prizes, the State Winner also receives an additional $25 gift card.

Judges will be selected by the Contest Coordinator and judging will take place at the Delaware Department of Agriculture in Dover. Winners will be announced in April and honored at the 2015 State Arbor Day Ceremony with Governor Jack A. Markell.

Posters must be received by March 27, 2015.

Entries should be mailed or delivered to:

Ashley Peebles, Contest Coordinator – Delaware Forest Service
2320 S. DuPont Highway Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 698-4551

Poster guidelines and rules can be found HERE.
Lesson plan and activity guide can be found HERE.

For those interested in programs designed to increase TEACHER knowledge in trees and roles of community trees and for grant opportunities to make your school more “green,” visit In 2014, more than 105 classes from 41 private, public, and home schools, and youth groups participated in the annual contest, and winners were honored at the state’s Arbor Day Ceremony at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center in Magnolia.

Last year, over 3,500 seedlings were distributed to students through the annual Free Seedling Program. As they have for many years, senior volunteers from the Modern Maturity Center’s RSVP Program in Dover wrapped tree seedlings for distribution to Delaware schoolchildren. Classrooms must participate in the Arbor Day Poster Contest to be eligible for free seedlings and tree programs. Delaware Forest Service staff delivered the seedlings to public and private schools statewide.