Ozark Rivers Earth Day Contest winners announced

12 Rolla Technical Institute students place in Earth Day contest

ST. JAMES—Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) announced 12 Rolla Technical Institute (RTI) students were honored with first and second place awards and honorable mentions in the 27th Annual Earth Day Poster, Trash and Graphic Art contest. This year’s contest theme was “Be a Hero: Your Planet Needs You.”

“In its 27th year, 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 special for students to be recognized and rewarded. 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 481 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 RTI were:

  • Jonathan Raymond, 11th grade, First Place Poster Art;
  • Carena Dittman, 11th grade, Honorable Mention Poster Art;
  • Caitlyn Molloy, 11th grade, Honorable Mention Poster Art;
  • Emily Jackson, 11th grade, Second Place Poster Art;
  • Casie Snelson, 12th grade, First Place Graphic Art;
  • Jeremy Swyers, 12th grade, Honorable Mention Poster Art;
  • Felisha Hazard, 12th grade, Honorable Mention Poster Art;
  • Ashley Thompson, 12th grade, Honorable Mention Poster Art;
  • Dylan Knight, 12th grade, Second Place Poster Art;
  • Hope Maedgen, College, First Place Poster Art;
  • Alex Mitchell, College, Honorable Mention Poster Art; and
  • Amber Lowe, College, Second Place Poster Art.

RTI students were under the direction of teacher Angie Yowell.

Judges for the contest included Nyla Bassett and Sarah Stratman with the Maries County Bank, Melanie Swope with Cuba Veterinary Clinic and Ryan Dunwoody, Tammy Rigsby and Savannah Vandegriffe with MRPC. The identities of the students and their schools were concealed during the judging process.

The 2018 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 DAR, The Maries County Bank, Phelps County Bank, Unico Bank, Regions Bank, Mid America Bank, Kaleidoscope Discovery Center 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.

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by Missouri Department of Natural Resources involves public education and resources for waste reduction in member counties and cities. MRPC provides administration of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

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/.