Pulaski County student places second in art contest

ST. JAMES–Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) announced Katelyn Fraski, 12th grader at Crocker High School, won second place in the Ozark Rivers 23rd Annual Earth Day Trash and Electronic Art Contest. Fraski is one of the 48 winners and 26 honorable mentions announced in the seven counties contest and was the lone winner in Pulaski County. 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 “Let’s Talk Trash–Reduce Reuse, Recycle.” Entries included 531 poster entries, 73 art entries and 40 graphic art entries. The program was open to kindergarten through 12th grade, homeschool, college and university students who met the criteria in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

The contest recently added a graphic art category that was expanded to include higher education and technical student entries. Tammy Snodgrass, environmental programs manager, said Rolla Technical Institute contacted her a couple of years ago with requests to accept college student entries.

“The graphic art category is only a few years old and is judged by the relevance of the art 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.

“We rely on the district’s teachers to engage students each year in a recycling theme; some teachers have participated in MRPC’s annual contest for over 20 years,” Hollowell said.

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

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

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, Town and Country Bank and Newburg Children’s Museum.

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.