2021 State Conservation Poster Contest Winners Announced

State winner, grades 4 to 6, Samuel Vasquez Ortiz, Gallagher Elementary


The Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, today announced the winners of its annual conservation poster contest, which provided students with an opportunity to convey their artistic impressions about soil, water and related natural resources based on the 2021 theme, “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.”

The 2021 theme, “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,” encouraged people to protect existing trees and plant new ones, as well as to advocate and educate about trees and forest conservation within their communities. As the biggest plants on the planet, trees are a vital resource, as they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, stabilize the soil, filter water, provide healthy habitat for wildlife and offer many other benefits.

First place winners from New Castle County are:

  • K to 1: Lawrence Xun*, North Star Elementary
  • 2 to 3: Christine Alex*, Gallagher Elementary
  • 4 to 6: Samuel Vasquez Ortiz*, Gallagher Elementary
  • 7 to 9: Rishitha Guddapalli*, Cab Calloway School of the Arts
  • 10 to 12: Eason Li*, Tower Hill School

First place winners from Kent County are:

  • K to 1: Jade McWaine, Academy of Dover
  • 2 to 3: Zahara Odige, Academy of Dover
  • 4 to 6: Leah Randall, Academy of Dover
  • 7 to 9: Jemma Byrd, Magnolia Middle School
  • 10 to 12: Evan Shane, Smyrna High School

State winner, grades 7 to 9, Rishitha Guddapalli, Cab Calloway School of the Arts
State winner, grades 7 to 9, Rishitha Guddapalli, Cab Calloway School of the Arts

*Denotes state winning posters. No entries were submitted in 2021 from Sussex County.

Posters were judged on good use of color, good attention to detail, an easy to understand conservation message, originality and creativity, along with correct use of the conservation theme. First, second and third place winners in each grade category received gift cards for $50, $25 and $15, respectively, from their local Conservation District office. The first place state winners received $50 from the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts.

State winning posters by Lawrence Xun, Christine Alex, Samuel Vasquez Ortiz, Rishitha Guddapalli and Eason Li have been entered into the national poster contest sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts Ladies Auxiliary. National winners will be announced at the NACD conference being held Feb. 12 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.

Delaware’s poster contest also includes a category for computer generated/graphic arts posters. Entries were received from two schools in New Castle County. The winners were:

  • First place: Langley Grace Marvel, Del Castle Vo Tech High School
  • Second place went to Noelle Evans also of Del Castle Vo Tech High School
  • Third place: Vicken Karakashian, Appoquinimink High School

Each year, the poster contest follows the annual Soil and Water Stewardship Week theme sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts. The 2022 poster contest will focus on the theme “Healthy Soil, Healthy Life.” Healthy soils are vital to food production and also contribute to clean air and water, plentiful crops and forests, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. The theme encourages people to recognize where food comes from and the farmers who are dedicated to using responsible land-management practices to ensure a sustainable food supply and healthy land and soil for future generations.

More information about the poster contest can be found at www.nacdnet.org under the Stewardship and Education page.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


Charter School of Wilmington wins 2018 Delaware Envirothon competition sponsored by DNREC

GREENWOOD – Charter School of Wilmington Team A was named the champion of the 2018 Delaware Envirothon competition held Thursday, April 26 at Swartzentruber Farm in Greenwood and sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Charter School of Wilmington won the school’s 19th Envirothon championship in the event’s 23-year history, including an unbroken winning streak since 2002.

Team A (pictured above) is Ashley Pennington, Harshitha Henry, Priyanka Hoskere, Siddharth Gangrade, and Tara Lennon. Charter School of Wilmington Teams’ B and C placed second and third, respectively, in this year’s Envirothon competition.

All 110 students stepped into the outdoor classroom of a 200-acre grass-fed beef cattle operation to test their knowledge of natural resources after preparing all school year. Each of the 22 teams answered questions, reviewed specimens and took measurements in topics dealing with aquatic ecology, soils/land-use, wildlife, forestry, air quality and the current environmental issue of pasture management. Teams also gave a seven- to 10-minute oral presentation of a scenario in which they developed a management plan to optimize grazing potential, enhance wildlife in the area and improve water quality. After more than three hours of testing, Charter School of Wilmington Team A was named the 2018 state champion.

Each member of the winning team earned a $500 scholarship from the Delaware Envirothon, an award plaque for their school, and additional prizes. Charter School of Wilmington Team A will also advance to represent Delaware in the 2018 National Conservation Foundation Envirothon at Idaho State University this summer. The second-, third- and fourth-place teams received more than $1,155 in special team awards and cash prizes.

Prizes in the form of gift cards and ribbons were awarded to the top seven teams. The official results are as follows:

  • First place: Charter School of Wilmington, Team A
  • Second place: Charter School of Wilmington, Team B
  • Third place: Charter School of Wilmington, Team C
  • Fourth place: MOT Charter, Team A
  • Fifth place: Middletown High School, Team Sneaky Snakes
  • Sixth place: Peach Blossom 4-H Club
  • Seventh place: Middletown High School FFA, Team Envirotots

Since its inception, the Delaware Envirothon has awarded $57,500 in scholarships to 115 students. The competition is sponsored annually by DNREC and hosted by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD), a voluntary, non-profit association that coordinates conservation efforts statewide to focus on natural resource issues identified by Delaware’s three local districts.

For more information about the Delaware Envirothon, please visit www.delawareenvirothon.org or contact Rick Mickowski at 302-832-3100 ext. 113.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 96