Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) announced three Salem R-80 students were honored with first and second place awards and honorable mentions in the Annual Earth Day Poster, Trash and Graphic Art contest. This year’s contest theme was “Be Waste Wise.”

“The Ozark Rivers Earth Day Art Contest has touched the lives of many students in the district,” said Jill Hollowell, Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) environmental specialist. “It is so exciting for students to be recognized and rewarded for their creativity. The contest also provides educators with activities in alignment with each year’s theme. This year the contest expanded through local art gallery showings. Student art was displayed at Art Works on Main in Owensville, Gallery Zeke in Steelville and The Centre in Rolla, hosted by Arts Rolla. We invite all students in the Ozark Rivers district to enter the contest as the goal is to increase participation and continue to inspire student creativity and environmental awareness.”

The contest required participants to re-purpose trash into three-dimensional pieces of art or create posters (hand drawn or graphically designed), based on this year’s theme. There were 518 entries from 14 schools. The contest was open to kindergarten through 12th grade, homeschool, college and university students who reside or attend school in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

“The Earth Day contest is one of the highlights of the year,” said Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC’s environmental program manager. “The kids are so creative – I love seeing the unique ways they express themselves through art. The whole process – from creating a poster on the theme to creating art from trash – and then providing awards that are made from recycled materials – it’s a great way to educate our children on the environment.”

Winners from Salem R-80 were:

• Jade Rathbun, sixth grade, Salem Middle School, First Place;

• Kaylynn Sites, sixth grade, Salem Middle School, Honorable Mention; and

• Nautia Nickles, sixth grade, Salem Middle School, Honorable Mention.

Salem R-80 students participating in the contest were under the direction of teacher Angela Dingess.

Judges for the contest included Karen Groom and Tish Gibson with Phelps County Bank of Rolla, Samantha Kinsey and Catie Scott with Mid America Bank of Belle and Melanie Swope with Cuba Vet Clinic. The identities of the students and their schools were concealed during the judging process.

The 2019 Earth Day contest was funded through an ORSWMD grant, made possible through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), along with donations from the following area sponsors: Cuba Veterinary Clinic, Noah Coleman Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Phelps County Bank, Mid-America Bank, Kaleidoscope Discovery Center, Central Federal and Legends Bank.

For more information about ORSWMD or waste reduction and recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area visit www.ozarkrivers.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ORSWMD, or contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, or Jill Hollowell at 573-265-2993.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.