By LINDA CHION KENNEY
With applications sought for its latest poster contest for school-aged children, the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District this month announced the winners of two previous poster contests, with winners heavily represented in south Hillsborough County.
Each year the HSWCD runs at least two poster contests, including one tied into the national contest run by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). This year’s HSWCD/NACD contest focuses on the stewardship theme, “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,” with a March 15 deadline for entries. Cash awards are given for first- second- and third-place finishers in both the junior grade categories (K-1, 2-3 and 4-6) and the senior grade categories (7-9 and 10-12).
Each participant receives a free ticket to the 2021 Hillsborough County Fair and a certificate showcasing an image of his or her poster entry. All posters are slated to be on display at the county fair in October, and winning entries advance to area, state and national competitions.
Meanwhile, to put the focus on the plight of the bee and its importance to the ecosystem, the 2020 HSWCD/NACD poster contest asked entrants to respond to the theme, “Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators.”
Judges selected first- second- and third-place finishers, as well as up to two honorable mention recipients. Collectively, in both the junior and senior grade categories, at least 11 of the 18 recognized entrants represented the Ruskin, Riverview and Apollo Beach communities. They hailed from Belmont, Frost, Ruskin, and Thompson public elementary schools, as well as SLAM Apollo (a STEM certified K-8 tuition-free public charter school in Apollo Beach) and LLT Academy South Bay (an independent public charter school in Ruskin, focused on literacy, leadership and technology).
The second of the two 2020 poster contests, for which awards were presented in December, focused on the importance of water to overall health and to maintaining a healthy, diverse environment. The HSWCD poster contest asked entrants to create posters that represented the stewardship theme, “Save Water, Live Stronger.”
Collectively, at least 11 of the 13 award-winning entrants represented the Ruskin, Riverview and Apollo Beach communities. Elementary schools included Cypress Creek, Ruskin, Thompson, SLAM Apollo and LLT Academy South Bay.
Roughly 150 entries were received for the two contests combined. Six youngsters placed in both contests, including Armando Rios (2-3) and Hensley Anson-Yevu (4-6), who placed first both times; Eduardo Morales (K-1), who placed first in the water contest and second in the bee contest; Syrena Cartwright (4-6), who placed third in the water contest and received honorable mention in the bee contest; and Emma Hammond (4-6) and Eli Vega (2-3), who received honorable mention in both contests.
Rounding out the award recipients in the 2020 bee contest are first-place recipients David Abrego (K-1) and Rebecca Holcomb (7-9); second-place recipients Makiya Bradford (4-6), Sanaa McCall (2-3) and, in a tie vote, Quinnton Ricks (2-3); and third-place recipients Keon Johnson (K-1);and Savannah Pickett (4-6). Additionally, earning honorable mention, Elysia and Alexander Galindo (K-1), Reid Craig Garcia (7-9), Delgado Hendry (2-3), Cecilia Nettgen (7-9) and Jayden Whaley (K-1).
Rounding out the award recipients in the 2020 water contest are second-place recipients MiaMarie Guerrero (K-1), Cristofer Vera (2-3) and Naomi Cardona (4-6); and third-place recipient Analeigh Rose Nieves-Rivera (2-3). Additionally, Romeo Martinez (2-3), Gabriella Caskey (K-1) and Adrian Lopez Torres (4-6) earned honorable mention.
For information, rules and entry form flyers for the 2021 “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities” HSWCD/NACD poster contest, contact HSWCD executive director Betty Jo Tompkins at email@example.com. Call: 813-752-1474, ext. 3 or 813-477-8332. Visit HSWCD online at www.HillsboroughSWCD.com.