ST. JAMES—Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) announced that two Maries County R-2 students were honored with awards in the 30th Annual Earth Day Poster, Trash and Graphic Art contest. This year’s contest theme was “Go Green – Keep Our Planet Clean.”
Winners from Maries County R-2 schools were:
- Denise Butler, 1st grade, Belle Elementary, Second Place Trash Art; and
- Ivory Kirkland, 5th grade, Bland Middle School, Honorable Mention Poster Art.
Maries County R-2 students were under the direction of teachers Chandler Kleffner (Belle Elementary School) and Carole Moore (Bland Middle School).
“In its 30th 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. “I especially enjoyed visiting classrooms this year and hearing firsthand about students’ environmental concerns and hopes and the concepts behind their art submissions. The contest also provides educators with activities in alignment with each year’s theme.”
The contest required participants to re-purpose trash into three-dimensional pieces of art or create posters (hand drawn or graphically designed), based on the year’s theme. There were 268 entries from 12 schools in the district and one homeschool group. 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 – it’s a great way to educate our children on the environment.”
“While contest participation was lower than usual due to COVID-19 interruptions, we greatly appreciated those who di submit entries,” Hollowell said. “Prizes made with recycled content were distributed to the winning artists. Student art was then displayed through Arts Rolla during its environmental art show.”
A gallery of awarded students art by grade level may be found on our website at ozarkrivers.org/programs-and-services/earth-day/.
The 2021 Earth Day Contest was funded through a ORSWMD grant, made possible through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), along with donations from the following area sponsors: St. James Chamber of Commerce, Phelps County Bank, 63 Auto & Truck Parts, Rolla Public School Teacher’s Corner, City of Rolla Recycling Center, Mid America Bank, People’s Bank of Cuba, Maries County Bank of St. James, Maries County Bank of Argyle, Belgrade State Bank, Legends Bank of Belle and Security Bank of Pulaski County.
The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. Brady Wilson, city of Rolla, chairs the group. 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 education and increased recycling and waste reduction efforts in member counties and cities. MRPC provides administration of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.
For more information about ORSWMD or waste reduction and recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, at 573-265-2993 or by email at email@example.com. Also, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ORSWMD and on the web at www.ozarkrivers.org. MRPC provides the day-to-day administration for Ozark Rivers.
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. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as MRPC chairman. A professional staff of 34 led by Executive Director Bonnie Prigge 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.