Washington fifth-graders invited to enter 2010 Arbor Day poster contest
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Washington fifth-graders invited to enter 2010 Arbor Day poster contest 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
January 11, 2010
 
Washington fifth-graders invited to enter 2010 Arbor Day poster contest
Contest theme: “Trees are Terrific… and Energy Wise!”

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), National Arbor Day Foundation, and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) are calling on all fifth-graders across the state to participate in the annual Arbor Day poster contest.

An inter-disciplinary curriculum guidebook has been designed to correlate with all state and federal educational standards. The “Trees are Terrific…and Energy Wise!” guidebook provides all the necessary information, classroom exercises, and assessment guidelines needed to educate students about the benefits of trees and their inherent value in the production and conservation of energy. Once students experience the coursework, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts by creating an interpretive poster and participating in the contest.

“Trees play a vital role in the fight against a changing climate,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “Arbor Day gives us an opportunity to educate young people about how trees in our communities help conserve energy, and clean the air and water.”

“Trees are vital to us all, and we need to share their history and grandeur with future generations,” says John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through this contest, students have the opportunity to learn about the specific ways trees conserve energy and develop an appreciation of trees and what they provide us.”

For the sixth consecutive year, PSE, Washington State’s oldest local utility, is providing financial support for the Washington Arbor Day poster contest.

“Puget Sound Energy is a proud, long-time sponsor of the Washington Arbor Day poster contest,” said Bert Valdman, PSE executive vice president and chief operating officer. “As a company dedicated to responsible stewardship of our natural resources, PSE works to inspire every generation to value our region’s rich, natural heritage. With education programs designed to instill a passion for the environment, including an understanding of the importance trees play in our state's ecosystem, PSE hopes to instill a commitment in people of all ages to the wise use of energy and our natural resources.”

Fifth-grade students from Washington are eligible to participate in a statewide competition, with the winner advancing to the national level. State contest entries are due by March 5, 2010. By participating in the contest and activities, students can apply their knowledge to celebrate trees during Arbor Month, the month of April. Arbor Day is celebrated in Washington the second Wednesday of April, which, in 2010, is April 14.  Check locally for information about events in your community, or visit http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/UrbanForestry/Pages/rp_urban_commandurbanforestry.aspx  where regional events will be posted.

Fifth-grade teachers and homeschoolers in Washington can find the curriculum guidebook and poster contest rules online at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/EnvironmentalEducation/Pages/em_arbor_day.aspx. Guidebooks are not available as hard copy.

The Washington State poster contest winner will receive a $100 savings bond, special recognition at a state Arbor Day event, and an ice cream party for his or her class. He or she also will be a finalist in the national competition. Those students who place second and third in the state competition will each receive a $50 savings bond.

The national winner for this year’s poster contest will be announced on National Arbor Day, April 30, 2010. The national winner, two parents, and the teacher of the winning student will receive an expense-paid trip to Nebraska City, Nebraska – birthplace of Arbor Day – where they will stay at Lied Lodge & Conference Center during National Awards Weekend, April 30 – May 2, 2010. In addition, the national winner will receive a $1,000 savings bond, a framed copy of his or her poster, and a lifetime membership in The National Arbor Day Foundation. The winning teacher will receive $200 for classroom materials.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship. Visit www.arborday.org  for online learning opportunities and other educational materials, including lesson plans that correlate with national science standards.

Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Education, (360) 902-1122, janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov  

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