Delaware Conservation Districts announce annual conservation poster contest with entries due by Oct. 20

This year’s theme: ‘Healthy Soils Are Full of Life’ 

DOVER – The Kent, New Castle, and Sussex Conservation Districts are now accepting entries in their annual conservation poster contest for K-12 students in Delaware’s public, charter, private, or home schools. Posters will be judged on the 2017 theme, “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life,” in the following grade categories: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. First, second and third place winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $50, $25, and $15, respectively. The state-level winning posters also will receive a cash award from the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts (DACD).

The deadline for poster entries is Friday, Oct. 20. In addition to regular posters, a special category for computer-generated posters is open to all high school students in grades 9-12 who take a graphics art/computer class or program of study. These entries will be judged at the county/state level only and will not be eligible for national judging.

Each Conservation District will submit first-place posters in each grade category for judging at the state level. In the event that an insufficient number of posters are received at the county level, county level judging will be eliminated and all posters will be judged at the state level. First-place posters in each grade level will be entered into the national conservation district poster contest, with winners to be displayed during the National Association of Conservation District’s conference in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 27-31, 2018.

The student’s name, grade level, teacher, and school must be clearly and legibly printed on the back of the poster. Posters must be hand-delivered or mailed flat in time to the meet the deadline to the Conservation District office in the county in which the student resides. Addresses are as follows:

  • New Castle Conservation District, 2430 Old County Road, Newark, DE 19702
  • Kent Conservation District, 800 Bay Road, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901
  • Sussex Conservation District, 21315 Berlin Road, Unit 4, Georgetown, DE 19947

The annual conservation poster contest provides students with an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water, and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state associations, auxiliaries, and agencies. The contest follows the annual stewardship theme developed and sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts.

“Healthy Soils Are Full of Life,” this year’s theme, reminds us of the important benefits that healthy and productive soils provide to us for food, fiber, habitat, and clean water. For more information and educational resources about the theme and poster contest guidelines, please visit

For a flyer with Delaware’s poster contest guidelines, please visit, or For more information, please contact Rick Mickowski at 302-832-3100 ext. 8979, or by email at

The annual poster contest is sponsored by DNREC and the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts. DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship provides technical and financial assistance to Delaware’s farmers, landowners, and homeowners to protect and enhance the state’s soil and water resources, mainly through the Division’s Delaware Conservation Districts staff.

Vol. 47, No. 214

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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.

Forest Service Seeks Young Artists for Arbor Day Poster Contest

For information, contact:
Ashley Peebles, Delaware Forest Service, (302) 698-4551

Attention: calling all young artists who love trees!

The Delaware Forest Service invites students in grades K to 5 to enter its 2013 Arbor Day Poster Contest, which is open to all public, private, charter, and home schools in the First State. “Trees are Terrific…in all Shapes and Sizes!” is this year’s theme, which highlights the importance of tree diversity in our community forests. The annual poster contest is a fun way to celebrate Arbor Day with your school, and every class that participates in the Arbor Day Poster Contest will receive free loblolly pine seedlings. Teachers or school personnel must register for their seedlings by March 8, 2013 at


Prizes Awarded to Winners
Winners will be chosen in each county – New Castle, Kent, and Sussex – for the following categories:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 2
  • Grades 3-4
  • Grade 5

From these 12 winners, an overall state winner will be selected to represent Delaware on Arbor Day.

All county winners receive:

  • $50.00 savings bond
  • An in-class Arbor Day presentation
  • Invitation to the State Arbor Day Ceremony (attended by the Governor)
  • “Tree-inspired” children’s book
  • Winning posters will be reprinted on canvas and framed for display throughout the year at state events and will be returned to the winner as a keepsake
  • Winning posters will also displayed online on the Delaware Forest Service website.
    Please visit: to see the 2012 winners

The state winner will receive all of the above prizes plus an additional $50.00 savings bond.

Prizes Awarded to Teachers
Teachers of students with a winning poster will receive $50.00 to spend on classroom material to help promote environmental education. Only one award per teacher/home school will be awarded. Teachers will be contacted with more information after the posters have been judged. All purchases must be made by July 1, 2013.

Posters should be sent or delivered to:
Ashley Peebles, Delaware Forest Service
2320 South Dupont Hwy.
Dover, DE 19901

Deadline for poster submission: March 28, 2013

Judging Criteria
Posters will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Use of theme
  • Originality
  • Neatness
  • Artistic expression

This year’s theme
Trees come in all shapes and sizes – producing a vast array of fruits, flowers, leaves, and seeds. A diverse community forest is a healthier forest that attracts a variety of wildlife and is more visually stimulating. Awareness of the difference between tree species can help in selecting the proper tree to plant in a given location based on site conditions, temperature and soil. Increasing student awareness of the many different types of trees is an important first step toward establishing a blend of trees that are well-suited to providing benefits such as cleaner air and natural beauty.

Click here for the complete poster rules, guidelines and prizes.
Click here for a classroom guide with ideas to incorporate the theme into your curriculum.
Dates to remember
March 8: deadline to register for free seedlings
March 28: poster deadline
April 26: Arbor Day