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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2009

IDNR Announces Illinois Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners
Fifth Graders Highlight the Theme “Trees are Terrific… in Cities and Towns!”

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller today announced the winners of the 2009 Illinois Arbor Day Poster Contest, with the theme “Trees are Terrific...in Cities and Towns!”  The first-place award winner in the Illinois poster competition among fifth-grade students from throughout the state is Derek Stoller, a home-schooled student from Chenoa.

“The Arbor Day poster contest is a fun educational opportunity that helps our next generation enhance their natural resources IQ and become conservation minded citizens,” said Miller.  “As with many of our IDNR youth education programs, the contest builds on the theme of getting young people outdoors to enjoy themselves and to learn about nature.”

The contest was open to all public, private, and home-schooled fifth graders in Illinois. Individual schools are responsible for local poster contest judging, with the individual school winners sent on to the IDNR for the statewide judging.  This year, more than 100 schools and more than 1,500 students in fifth grade classes participated in local poster contests.

All winners receive various awards provided by the contest sponsors, including gift certificates, books and posters on Illinois trees and the environment, as well as National Arbor Day Foundation prizes and tree kits.  The Illinois contest sponsors include the IDNR, Illinois Arborist Association, Society of American Foresters, the National Arbor Day Foundation, and Toyota.

The IDNR Urban Forestry Program administers the state competition.

“This year, students participating in the contest learned about the benefits of trees in the forest where we live,” said Reinee Hildebrandt, IDNR poster contest administrator. “They were given the opportunity to chart the benefits of trees in their immediate living environment.  They were taught tree identification, and how to measure the diameter and height of a tree.  This learning was then transferred into creating a poster depicting the theme.”

Arbor Day is April 24, 2009.  Images of the Illinois poster contest winners can be viewed online at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/conservation/forestry/Urban/poster.htm


2009 ILLINOIS ARBOR DAY POSTER CONTEST WINNERS

1st Place
Derek Stoller, Homeschooled, Chenoa, IL; Teacher: Cara Stoller
Awards: $50 Gift card from Barnes and Noble; Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw; Landscape Projects; The Little Book of Living Green; and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

2nd Place
Abishai Muddamalle, Andrew Jackson Language Academy, Chicago, IL; Teacher: Randi McManus
Awards: $25 Gift card from Barnes and Noble; Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw; Landscape Projects; The Eco Quiz Deck – How much Do You Know About Shrinking Your Ecological Foot print? And various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

3rd Place
Elise Ratcliff, Carlinville Intermediate, Carlinville, IL; Teacher: Julie Behme
Awards: $25 Gift card from Barnes and Noble; Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw; Landscape Projects; and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

4th Place
Reilly Greenfield, Fox Chase Elementary, Oswego, IL; Teachers: Kirbie DeBolt and Amber Denbo
Awards: Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw; Landscape Projects; and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

5th Place
Nerija Coplinskas, St. Mary School, Riverside, IL; Teacher: Carolyn C. Johnson
Awards: Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw; the Abundant Garden and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

6th Place
Alyssa Knutson, Batavia school system, Batavia, IL; Sponsor: City of Batavia
Awards: Trees of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela; The Abundant Garden and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

7th Place
Grace Cooper, Wauconda Grade School, Wauconda, IL; Teacher: Tracie Miglans
Awards: Trees of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela; The Abundant Garden and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

8th Place
Mercedes Lima, W.C. Petty Elementary School; Teacher: Tracy Maness
Awards: Trees of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela; The Abundant Garden and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

9th Place
Elecia Thies, Beecher City Elementary, Beecher City, IL; Teacher: Lisa Schuette
Awards: Trees of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

10th Place
Jonathan Bustos, Jonathan Burr School, Chicago, IL; Teacher: Terri L. Arcos
Awards: Trees of Illinois Field Guide by Stan Tekiela and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota

Honorable Mention
Destiny Hill, Sumner Academy, Chicago, IL; Teacher: Margaret Domian
Awards: Illinois Trees and Wildflowers – Pocket Naturalist Guide and various educational materials from IDNR, NADF and Toyota



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