For the fifth time in six years, a Lovell Elementary fifth-grader has been judged the Wyoming Arbor Day state poster contest winner.
Myken McArthur, a member of Jodi Croft’s class, was the Lovell poster contest grand prize winner and his poster represented Lovell at the state level, competing against more than 300 posters from students across the state. His poster was then selected as the first place winner in the state contest.
“Trees Please…for You and Me” was this year’s theme for the Wyoming State Arbor Day Poster Contest, which is sponsored annually by the Wyoming State Forestry Division and Wyoming Project Learning Tree. Lovell’s fifth-grade students designed and submitted original posters that were judged by Lovell Tree Board members and representatives from the Town of Lovell and the National Park Service. Before pen met paper, National Park Service Interpreter Justin Langlois and Town of Lovell Parks Manager Gary Emmett spoke to each class about the Arbor Day and why trees are important in our communities, Bighorn Canyon Chief of Interpretation Christy Fleming said.
With the Arbor Day information on hand, each student created a poster to depict what they learned based on the theme. The posters were then judged and first, second and third place winners were chosen in each classroom. A grand prize was selected.
Minerals Technologies Inc. American Colloid “generously donated” funds for prizes that were presented to the winners at the Arbor Day celebration at Constitution Park on April 24, Fleming said.
LES fifth-graders walked to Constitution Park for the contest Wednesday afternoon and enjoyed a talk by Emmett, who again stressed the importance of trees in communities. He urged the students to be good stewards of trees, noting that many times tree limbs can be broken and trees harmed by improper climbing or even vandalism.
After Emmett and Lovell Mayor Kevin Jones unfurled Lovell’s Tree City USA flag, poster contest awards were announced and presented. McArthur won a Kindle Fire, and others were presented a scooter, art kit or outdoor Yahtzee game.
Students then planted three autumn purple ash trees and three Rocky Mountain juniper bushes, and they even helped tamp down soil where a new water line had been laid. Students were assisted by Town of Lovell and National Park Service employees, and Smokey Bear from the Bighorn National Forest was also on hand to help on Wednesday.
Emmett said he built and submitted a Wyoming State Forestry Grant based on replacing trees damaged or killed in the hailstorm that struck the community last July. He said the town parks crew has another 20 trees to plant, along with more than 200 shrubs and bushes.
In addition to this year’s Arbor Day tree planting tradition, the Town of Lovell will be participating in the new Arbor Day initiative “Time for Trees.” The initiative is to inspire planting of 100
million trees by 2022, Fleming said.
This year’s winners:
Grand Prize Winner from Mrs. Jodi Croft’s Class: Myken McArthur.
From Mrs. Croft’s Class:
1st place – Becca Nichols
2nd place – Elana Schilthuis
3rd place – Serenity Hernandez
From Mr. Craig Lundberg’s Class:
1st place – Lauryn Marchant
2nd place – Jay Mayes
3rd place – Charlotte Bair
By David Peck