MARYLAND — Maryland State Forester Don Van Hassent was joined by special guest Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan as well as Northeastern Area Chesapeake Bay program coordinator Sally Claggett and seven forestry experts to choose the top posters in this year’s state Arbor Day poster contest.
Fifth-grade students throughout the state were encouraged to create a poster around the theme “Trees are Terrific… and Make Communities Healthy.” Students used different mediums including colored pencils, crayons, markers and paint to design the posters they submitted to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The Maryland Forest Service accepted hundreds of entries for this year’s contest. Winning posters, selected at the county level, were then forwarded for judging by the volunteer Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee.
“I’m greatly impressed by the display of talent from these Maryland fifth-graders,” First Lady Yumi Hogan said. “This Arbor Day poster contest is a great way to celebrate the value of forests and trees through art, which allows students to express how trees affect them on a personal level.”
The top three poster designs win the artists’ schools new trees to plant. The first-place winner, Annah Landry from Carroll County, will receive 15 trees for her school. The second-place winner, Garrett Schlag from Talbot County, will receive 10 trees, and Addison Souza, Queen Anne’s County, will receive five trees for her third-place poster.
“It is wonderful to see the creativity and passion of our fifth-grade students come to life through this poster contest,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Their demonstrated connection to the environment and our natural resources is as strong and sustainable as our forests and trees.”
The poster contest has been held for decades. Maryland’s Arbor Day, April 4, comes weeks before National Arbor Day, April 27. The Arbor Day poster contest is hosted annually by the department’s Tree-Mendous Maryland program. The winning poster entries can be viewed online.
The judging took place Feb. 22 at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Tawes office building in Annapolis, Maryland.