Arbor Day Poster Contest and Free Seedling Giveaway

This poster by Rain Vasey of Sussex County was the Overall State Winner in the Delaware Forest Service's 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest.
This poster by Rain Vasey of Sussex County was the Overall State Winner in the Delaware Forest Service’s 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest. This year’s contest is open to all children in grades K to 5.

“Trees are Terrific…and Forests are Too!” That’s the theme of the Delaware Forest Service’s 2016 Arbor Day Poster Contest, which is open to all children in grades K to 5 in Delaware public, private, home, and charter schools. After-school programs and youth groups are also eligible. The deadline for poster submission is April 8, 2016. For more information, email contest coordinator Ashley Peebles or call 302-698-4551.

Teachers and schools can register for the contest, sign up to receive free tree seedlings for their school, and access the 2016 Arbor Day Poster Contest Guidelines at the Arbor Day Poster Contest Event Brite Registration Link.

A total of 12 winners will be selected: one from each county (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex)  in four separate grade categories (grades K, 1 to 2, 3 to 4, and 5). From these county winners, an overall State Winner will be chosen.

County winners receive:

Judging will take place at the Delaware Department of Agriculture and winners will be announced in early April.

Posters will be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following criteria:

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

This year’s theme is designed to increase knowledge about forests and forest resources and the Arbor Day contest can be a great supplement to a K-5 science unit. The goal is to help children learn about the numerous benefits of trees and their direct impact on community health and well-being. Schools are a perfect setting to incorporate the role of urban trees into the everyday curriculum. Trees provide beauty while providing habitat and food for wildlife. They also improve air and water quality, muffle noise, enhance property values, moderate air temperatures, mitigate soil erosion, and reduce energy consumption.

All participating classes will receive free loblolly pine seedlings! Seedlings will be delivered just in time for planting in late-April.


Gov. Markell Celebrates Arbor Day at Appoquinimink

Arbor Day AHS Group Shot4
Governor Markell joined Appoquinimink High school staff and students, the Delaware Forest Service , and representatives of Delmarva Power for an Arbor Day Celebration that included the planting of more than 30 trees donated by Delmarva Power.

Senator Bethany Hall-Long (D-10, Middletown) and Governor Jack Markell recognized fourth-grader Rain Vasey of Lincoln's Watergirl Farm Academy as the winner of the annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest.
Senator Bethany Hall-Long (D-10, Middletown) and Governor Jack Markell recognized fourth-grader Rain Vasey of Lincoln’s Watergirl Farm Academy as the winner of the annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest.

Arbor Day 2015 at Appoquinimink (114)
Joined by State Forester Michael A. Valenti and Senator Bethany Hall-Long, Governor Markell helped plant a ceremonial tree with winners of the Arbor Day school poster contest and their families.

MIDDLETOWN, Del. – Governor Jack A. Markell celebrated Arbor Day today by honoring the winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual school poster contest and joining Appoquinimink High School students and staff to plant more than 30 trees donated by Delmarva Power, which was also recognized with a “Tree Line USA” Award.

Link: Facebook Photo Album of State Arbor Day Ceremony highlights

 

From left, Delmarva Power's Michael Krzyzanowski, Michael Casmay, and MAtt Simons receive the Tree Line USA Award from Governor Jack Markell. The utility donated more than 30 trees that were planted by Appoquinimink High School students and staff at the school's campus in Middletown.
From left, Delmarva Power’s Michael Krzyzanowski, Michael Casmay, and Matt Simons receive the Tree Line USA Award from Governor Jack Markell. The utility donated more than 30 trees that were planted by Appoquinimink High School students and staff at the school’s campus in Middletown.

  • The Delaware Forest Service’s Arbor Day School Poster Contest is an annual competition open to students in grades K to 5 in all Delaware public, private, charter, and home schools. Winners from each county are chosen by a panel of judges in four categories: kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, and grade 5. Each winner receives a framed canvas reproduction of their winning poster, a gift card, a tree planting ceremony at their school, and a tree-themed keepsake book.
  • This year’s theme was “Trees are Terrific… Inside and Out!”
  • The 2015 State Winner is fourth-grader Rain Vasey of Watergirl Farm Academy in Lincoln, Sussex County.
  • Complete list of 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners (Click on thumbnails for high-resolution images of the winning poster)

Senator Bethany Hall-Long (D-10, Middletown) joined Governor Markell for photos with the winning students. (Click links for photos)

NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Kindergarten: Kara Maloney, Harlan Elementary, Wilmington (Photo)
Grades 1 to 2: Karina Gendron, Jennie Smith Elementary, Newark (Photo)
Grades 3 to 4: Elena Garber, Christ the Teacher, Newark (Photo)
Grade 5: Ben Sekowski, Christ the Teacher, Newark (Photo)

KENT COUNTY
Kindergarten: McKenzie Slaton, Maj. George Welch Elementary, Dover (Photo)
Grades 1 to 2: Madisyn Woods, Nellie H. Stokes Elementary, Dover (Photo)
Grades 3 to 4: Liam Wilson, Clayton Elementary, Clayton (Photo)
Grade 5: Sofia Estrada, Clayton Intermediate, Clayton (Photo)

SUSSEX COUNTY
Kindergarten: Sydney Johnson, Phillip C. Showell Elementary, Selbyville (Photo)
Grades 1 to 2: Yael Rivas, Lord Baltimore Elementary, Ocean View (Photo)
Grades 3 to 4: Rain Vasey, Watergirl Farm Academy, Lincoln
Grade 5: Mercy Winston, Winston Learning Academy, Milford

  • The Arbor Day Ceremony took place at Appoquinimink School District’s Outdoor Classroom – designed to demonstrate renewable energy in a way that students and the community can understand. The building features hydronic heating, photovoltaic power, a wind turbine, and a system for rainwater collection and reuse.  (Architectural photos of the outdoor classroom)

Delmarva Power and the Arbor Day Program:

  • Delmarva Power donated more than 30 trees to be planted by Appoquinimink High School Students on the district’s campus on Bunker Hill Road near the entrance to the school complex. The planting was completed on May 1 through the cooperation of Delmarva Power, the Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, and the Appoquinimink School District grounds staff.  Students planted the trees under the guidance of teacher Karen Weiner of the AHS Career and Tech Education Department.
  • Tree Line USA is a program of the National Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes best practices in utility arboriculture.  It is awarded each year to utilities that meet five core standards: 1) Quality Tree Care; 2) Annual Worker Training; 3) Tree Planting and Public Education; 4) Tree-Based Energy Conservation Program; and, 5) an Arbor Day Celebration.
  • Delmarva Power has demonstrated a commitment to conservation and education through its Energy Saving Trees Program™  that allows homeowners to fill out an online application to request free trees for their property and a calculator that can estimate their cost and energy savings.
  • Delmarva Power is the sole corporate sponsor of community Arbor Day Celebrations in all three Delaware counties. Each of Delaware’s 18 Tree City USA communities gets a free tree from Delmarva Power to use as part of their municipal Arbor Day Observance. In addition, each of the winners of the Arbor Day School Poster Contest receives a free tree and Arbor Day planting ceremony – courtesy of Delmarva Power.
  • Delmarva Power employs forestry staff and administers a professional tree maintenance program that conforms to American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Delmarva Power is a division of Pepco Holdings, one of the largest suppliers of electricity and natural gas in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It has 305,000 Delaware electric customers, along with 126,000 Delmarva natural gas customers in New Castle County. Another 201,000 Maryland residents are served by Delmarva on that state’s Eastern Shore.

 


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 http://2015arbordaycontest.eventbrite.com. 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:  http://delawaretrees.com/2014arbordaypostercontest.html
  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 delawaretrees.com 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
Email: ashley.peebles@delaware.gov

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 www.plt.org 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.


Gov. Markell celebrates Arbor Day with over 500 students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center

 

At left, Governor Markell addresses over 500 enthusiastic kindergarten students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center as Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald looks on. At right, newly named "Delaware Principal of the Year" Dr. Sherry Kijowski presides over the ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the school's new "Tree Walk & Talk Arboretum."
At left, Governor Markell addresses over 500 enthusiastic kindergarten students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center as Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald looks on. At right, McIlvaine’s newly-named “Delaware Principal of the Year” Dr. Sherry Kijowski presides over the ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally dedicate the school’s new “Tree Walk & Talk Arboretum” as part of Arbor Day ceremonies.

 

MAGNOLIA, Del. (May 14) – Governor Jack Markell celebrated Arbor Day by joining over 500 kindergarten students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center for a ribbon-cutting to unveil the school’s new “Tree Walk & Talk Arboretum.” Gov. Markell also honored winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor School Poster Contest and joined in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the adoption of the American holly as Delaware’s state tree in 1939.

A complete gallery of Arbor Day event photos is at the Delaware Forest Service’s Facebook Page. High-resolution images of Arbor Day Poster Winners are at: http://delawaretrees.com/2014arbordayceremony.html

Forestry officials also announced plans for the State of Delaware to purchase four parcels of Sussex County forestland in the next year at a cost of $1.35 million. The properties, which will become part of the 12,400-acre Redden State Forest in Georgetown, marks the final phase of the state’s ten-year “Green Horizons Project” that has permanently protected over 4,000 acres since 2004.

Map shows location of four parcels totaling 370 acres that are slated for purchase in 2014.
The State of Delaware plans to purchase 370 acres of forest at a cost of $1.35 million, with funding provided by the U.S. Forest Legacy Program, Delaware’s Open Space Program, and The Conservation Fund.

McIlvaine Early Childhood Center (MECC) in Magnolia is the state’s largest all-day kindergarten program with over 500 students. As a pilot site for Governor Markell’s World Language Initiative (WLI) Program, MECC features the state’s only Chinese language immersion program. About 100 kindergartners spend half their day learning literacy, math, science and social studies in Chinese and the other half in English speaking classes. WLI was successfully launched thanks to the efforts of Kevin Fitzgerald, Caesar Rodney School District superintendent, Sherry Kijowski, McIlvaine Early Childhood Center principal, and Brook Castillo, assistant principal.

MECC’s new “Tree Walk and Talk Arboretum” is the centerpiece of the school’s effort to incorporate “placed-based” environmental learning as part of Delaware’s “No Child Left Inside” initiative. Funded by a “GreenWorks!” grant from the American Forest Foundation’s Project Learning Tree Program, the project was completed with the help of the Delaware Forest Service, MECC staff and students, the Caesar Rodney High School FFA, and local businesses. The arboretum was completed at a planting event at the school on May 7. Photos of the planting event can be found at the Forest Service Facebook page.

A sign in McIlvaine's new arboretum appears in four languages: English, Latin, Spanish, and Chinese.
A sign in McIlvaine’s new arboretum appears in four languages: English, Latin, Spanish, and Chinese.

The Delaware Forest Service’s Arbor Day School Poster Contest is an annual competition open to students in grades K to 5 in all public, private, charter, and home schools. Winners are chosen from each county in four categories: kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, and grade 5. This year’s state winner was Isabella Garber, a Grade 5 student at Christ the Teacher School in Newark.

From left, Rep. Harvey R. Kenton joins the fifth-grader Isabella Garber of Christ the Teacher School in Newark, winner of the state's Arbor Day school poster contest, and Gov. Markell.
Rep. Harvey R. Kenton (R-36) and Governor Jack Markell (at right) join fifth-grader Isabella Garber of Christ the Teacher School in Newark, winner of the state’s Arbor Day school poster contest at the awards ceremony at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center in Magnolia.

Forestry officials also noted that 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the adoption of American holly (Ilex opaca) as Delaware’s official state tree in 1939. At the time, Delaware was known throughout the United States as the “Land of Holly” because it was a leading exporter of holly holiday wreaths.

The “Green Horizons Project” is a multi-year effort to save working forests from future development. A successful partnership between the State of Delaware, the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, and nonprofit organizations including The Conservation Fund, the successful ten-year effort will culminate this year with the planned acquisition of 370 acres of Sussex County forestland at a total cost of $1.35 million. To date, Green Horizons has permanently protected over 4,000 acres of forests – which provide the public with cleaner water, opportunities for recreation and hunting, and places for wildlife habitat and observation.

At the ceremony, Delmarva Power received the Tree Line USA Award for meeting standards set by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The company also donated 30 trees for tree planting events at schools of winning poster contest entrants, as well as community Arbor Day events for Delaware’s Tree City USA communities.

From left, Michael Krzyzanowski, Delmarva Power's Vegetation Management for its  New Castle Region, and Michael Casmay, Staff Forester, receive the Tree Line USA Award from Governor Markell.
From left, Michael Krzyzanowski, Delmarva Power’s Vegetation Management for its New Castle Region, and Michael Casmay, Staff Forester, receive the Tree Line USA Award from Governor Markell.

2014 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners

NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Kindergarten:  Isaiah Ngugi, Kathleen Wilbur Elementary, Bear

Grades 1 to 2: Jonathan Eppler, Jennie Smith Elementary, Newark

Grades 3 to 4: Maya Rigor, Christ the Teacher, Newark

Grade 5: Isabella Garber, Christ the Teacher, Newark

KENT COUNTY
Kindergarten: Caden John Marx, Maj. George Welch Elementary, Dover

Grades 1 to 2: Holly Helsdon, Nellie H. Stokes Elementary, Dover

Grades 3 to 4: Taryn Martin, W.B. Simpson Elementary, Camden

Grade 5: Juan Velasquez, Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Milford

SUSSEX COUNTY
Kindergarten: Tyler Hutt, Eagle’s Nest Christian School, Milton

Grades 1 to 2: Samuel Winston, Winston Learning Academy, Milford

Grades 3 to 4: Rain Vasey, Watergirl Farm Academy, Lincoln

Grade 5: Stephen Venable, Honor Academy, Milford

 


2014 Arbor Day School Poster Contest Winners

Isabella Garber, a fifth-grader at Newark's Christ the Teacher School, is the winner of the 2014 Arbor Day School Poster Contest sponsored by the Delaware Forest Service.
Isabella Garber, a fifth-grader at Newark’s Christ the Teacher School, is the winner of the 2014 Arbor Day School Poster Contest sponsored by the Delaware Forest Service.

The Delaware Forest Service has announced the winners of its annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest. The 2014 contest theme was “Trees are terrific… in cities and towns!” This year’s statewide winner is Isabella Garber, a fifth-grader at Christ the Teacher School in Newark. Her poster was judged the best overall on the following qualities: artistic expression, originality, neatness, and use of theme. The complete archive of this year’s winning posters is now available on the web. Direct link: http://delawaretrees.com/2014arbordaypostercontest.html

New Castle County Winners

Kindergarten:   Isaiah Ngugi—Kathleen Wilbur Elementary, Bear
Grades 1-2:      Jonathan Eppler—Jennie Smith Elementary, New Castle
Grades 3-4:      Maya Rigor — Christ the Teacher, Newark
Grade 5:            Isabella Garber—Christ the Teacher, Newark

Kent County Winners

Kindergarten:   Caden Marx — Major George Welch Elementary, Dover
Grades 1-2:       Holly Helsdon —  Nellie Hughes Stokes, Dover
Grades 3-4:      Taryn Martin— W.B. Simpson Elementary, Camden
Grade 5:            Juan Velasquez— Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Milford

Sussex County Winners

Kindergarten:   Tyler Hutt — Eagle’s Nest Christian School, Milton
Grades 1-2:        Samuel Winston —  Winston Learning Academy, Milford
Grades 3-4:        Rain Vasey —  Watergirl Farm Academy, Lincoln
Grade 5:              Stephan Venable  — Honor Academy, Milford

The 2014 Delaware Arbor Day Ceremony will take place (rain or shine) on May 14, 2014 at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center, 11 W. Walnut St, Magnolia, DE 19962. McIlvaine will be recognized as Delaware’s newest “Tree-rific School” by the Delaware Forest Service.

Governor Markell is scheduled to be on hand on May 14 to honor the 2014 student poster contest winners and also help unveil a brand-new arboretum at McIlvaine ECC that will become the centerpiece of the school’s tree-based curriculum initiatives. As a site for one of the First State’s pioneering Chinese language immersion programs, tree identification signs will also be in Chinese. The arboretum project was funded by a grant from the American Forest Foundation and its Project Learning Tree program, with additional help from Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

The Delaware Arbor Day Ceremony will also help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the adoption of the American holly as Delaware’s state tree in May, 1939.

For more information about the 2014 Delaware Arbor Day School Poster Contest and 2014 Arbor Day activities, contact  Ashley Peebles, Delaware Forest Service Trainer-Educator, at (302) 698-4551 or by email: ashley.peebles@delaware.gov.