Southern Delaware School of the Arts produced two winners in the 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest hosted by Delaware Forest Service.
Ellie Merrick, a fifth-grader from Selbyville, was Delaware’s overall state winner for 2019.
Ava Strong, a fourth-grader, won her age division, for third- and fourth-graders, in Sussex County.
There are only four winners per county — one per grade level group, for kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4, and grade 5 — plus the grand-prize winner.
The contest is designed to teach students about the role of trees and their direct impact on the health and wellbeing of Delaware residents. This year’s theme was “Trees Are Terrific … in Cities and Towns!” to highlight the benefits of trees in the community.
Both students got creative with color. Merrick used a smoky gray city to highlight a colorful countryside and a promising little tree sapling, using “a pop of color to prove trees are important.” Strong used watercolor markers to detail a large, colorful tree that overshadows a dreary gray city.
Arbor Day was initially established in 1872 and is celebrated in Delaware on the last Friday in April. The annual Arbor Day Poster Contest is open to all Delaware children in grades K-5. Winners received a tree-themed book, a free tree-planting ceremony at their school (courtesy of sponsor Delmarva Power) and an invitation to the State Arbor Day Ceremony with Gov. John Carney in Dover on April 26.
By Laura Walter