Dent County student places first in art contest
ST. JAMES–Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) announced Mahayla Breckner, 7th grader at Salem R-80 Middle School, won first place in the Ozark Rivers 23rd Annual Earth Day Poster, Trash and Electronic Art Contest. Breckner is the only winner in Dent County of the 48 winners and 26 honorable mentions announced in the seven county 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 posters 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.
A category of the contest was recently opened to graphic art students at colleges and universities. 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 piece to the theme of the contest,” Snodgrass said.
Since then, participation in the graphic art 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 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 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 identities of the students and their schools 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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.