Parkside students illustrate the importance of trees

The winners of Parkside’s first Arbor Day poster contest.

The first annual Arbor Day poster contest was held April 26 at Parkside Intermediate School with 95 fifth-graders submitting outstanding posters to be entered in the contest. Each poster included artwork and a paragraph of 150 words or less explaining "why trees are important to the City of Westlake."

The contest was sponsored by the Westlake Tree Commission in conjunction with Westlake's 22nd consecutive annual designation as a Tree City USA. The students illustrated on their posters the many ways trees are important and why trees should be preserved and protected in their city. The posters were then judged by myself and fellow Tree Commission members Margie Rossander, John Walz and Diane Morris as well as Stan Barnard, urban forestry manager for the City of Westlake, and Paul Quinn III, Westlake's service director.

Each of the fifth-graders who submitted posters were then invited to participate in the Arbor Day ceremony and to help plant a beautiful buckeye tree in Parkside's front yard. The students all aided in placing a shovel full of dirt around the tree and learning about the history of the Ohio buckeye tree.

Six winners and six honorable mention posters were selected by the judges and the winners each received a ribbon with the top six receiving a proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough proclaiming their day in Westlake. All of the posters made by the fifth-graders will go on display the week of April 29 at the Westlake Recreation Center.

After the tree planting, the students were invited to dip their hands in washable green paint and put their handprint on the City of Westlake's "Tree of Life" banner from the 2013 Rain and Garden Show. Once completed, the tree – with handprints for leaves and a trunk formed by names written in brown marker – will be scanned and used as the new logo for the Westlake Watershed Group and city engineering department's "Go Green" program.

The winning entries were submitted by: Samantha Thomas, Lexie Floyd, Selena Alamir, Allison Hook, Abdullah Abdul-Maani and Kari Adkins. Honorable mention winners were Lydia Choban, Kerrigan Ponsart, Eric Kronz, Sophia Ricaurte, Mai Lin Conway and Kara Wilkinson. Congratulations to all!

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 04.30.2013