23 Gasconade County students placed in Earth Day contest

ST. JAMES–Ozark Rivers Solid WasteManagement District (ORSWMD) announced 23 Gasconade County students out of 48 winners and 26 honorable mentions received awards in the 23rd Annual Earth Day Poster, Trash and Electronic Art Contest. All art entries were centered around the theme “Let’s Talk Trash–Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

“The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness about recycling and encourage the community to take part in celebrating Earth Day,” said Jill Hollowell, environmental programs specialist at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).

The contest required contestants to re-purpose garbage into three-dimensional pieces of art or create posters to promote the contest theme. Entries included 531 poster entries, 73 art entries and 40 graphic art entries. The program was open to kindergarten through 12th grades, homeschool, college and university students who met the criteria inCrawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

The contest was recently opened to include a graphic art category to college and university students. Tammy Snodgrass, environmental programs manager, said Rolla Technical Institute contacted her a couple of years ago with requests to accept college studententries.

“The graphic art category is only a few years old and is judged by the relevance of the piece to the theme of the contest,” Snodgrass said.

Since then, participation in the graphicart category has doubled and all categories have increased in participation since last year.

A total of 13 schools competed in the seven county contest.

Gasconade County winners of the 2015 poster contest by grade level are:
· Owensville Middle School: 7th grade: 2nd place – Taylor Lancaster; honorable mention – Pacey Dugger; 8th grade: 2nd place – Alyssa Fulkerson; honorable mention – Haley Bogle and Madison Cooper.

Trash Art contest winners are:
· St. George: kindergarten – 1st place – Aspen Meyer; 2nd place – Lydia Kopp; honorable mention – Harper Priess; 1st grade: 1st place – Eric Chorley; 2nd place – Ashly Hughes; 2nd grade: 1st place – William Manning; 2nd place – Sydney Schulte; 3rd grade: 1st place – Paige Schulte; honorable mention – Macy Bader; 5th grade: 2nd place – Cyndey Moeckli; 6th grade: 1st place – Caleb Reidhead; 2nd place – Gracie Winkelmann; honorable mention – Lance Bader and Brendon Cole; 7th grade: honorable mention – Chloe Witte; 8th grade: 1st place – Shey Mundwiller; 2nd place – Dane Speckhals; honorable mention – Marissa Groppe
“We rely on the teachers to engage students in the recycling theme; some teachers have supported MRPC’s themed recycling contest for over 20 years,” Hollowell said.

Judges for the contest consisted of Snodgrass, Hollowell and Kelly Sink-Blair of MRPC staff; James Morgan of Crocker, Amy Beers of PCB, Emily Pfeiffer of PUB and Jessica Tipton of Mid America Bank.

The identities of the students and theirschools were concealed during the judging process.

The 2015 Earth Day contest was funded through an ORSWMD grant along with donations from several area sponsors. Sponsors included Bank of Salem, Citizens Bank of Newburg, Maries County Bank, Missouri Bank, Phelps County Bank, Belle State Bank, Legends Bank, Mid America Bank, Peoples Bank and Town and Country Bank.

The Ozark Rivers District‘s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by MDNR, involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities.

For more information about ORSWMD or recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, or Jill Hollowell, MRPC environmental programs specialist, at 573-265-2993 or by email at tsnodgrass@meramecregion.org orjhollowell@meramecregion.org.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving eight counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 22, 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.