2017 Poster and Speaking Contest Winners
Congratulations to all youth poster & speaking participants!
The Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association hosted its 64th Annual Conservation Conference at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake March 15-17, 2017. As part of the conference the Wisconsin Land +Water Youth Education Committee hosted the 60th Annual 2017 Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contests where volunteers from county land conservation departments, members of the Youth Education Committee and Department of Public Instruction helped judge the speaking contest. The first place winning speakers from the elementary, junior and senior divisions presented their award-winning speeches at the Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Annual Conference opening luncheon on Wednesday to a crowd of over 370 conservation professionals from across the state.
Eric Paulsen, Co-Host of Discover Wisconsin and Jim VandenBrook, Executive Director of Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association, presented the speaking contest winners with trophies and recognized all of the students for their outstanding speeches and their commitment to conservation. “It is encouraging to see these students drawing attention to critical conservation issues that impact our state. Knowing that they are learning the skills to take an important conservation issue, research it and provide a solution bodes well for the future of our youth and their ability to solve conservation issues,” said VandenBrook. “It is encouraging to hear them speak so eloquently on topics like non-native aquatic species, the impact of pesticides in our own back yards, and the damage oak wilt can cause to our forests and urban trees. They understand the challenges we face and the work that is necessary to protect and conserve our natural resources.”
The conservation awareness poster and speaking contests are two of the many programs that our Youth Education committee coordinates to educate and inspire Wisconsin’s youth so they understand the importance of stewardship and caring for our natural resources.
The topic of the winning speeches were, ”Craspedacusta Sowerbi,” (fresh water jellyfish), Ellie Lurvey, Oneida County, discussing the impact of invasive species on our waterways; “Backyard Blues,” Kate Schraufnagel, Clark County, on the impact that pesticide use in our own yards, parks and school grounds have on our health and groundwater; and “Oak Wilt” Sydney Schunck, Washburn County, highlighting the impact that Oak Wilt has on our Oak Trees and how to identify and prevent it.
For the third year, members were able to vote on the winning conservation awareness posters from each division with the first place posters moving on to represent Wisconsin at the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Poster Contest at the NACD Annual meeting in 2018. The conservation poster awareness theme this year was “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life.”
Paulsen closed out the speaking contest thanking the participants for putting so much time and effort into their speeches. “This is my first year hosting the WI Land+Water Conservation speaking contest and I was really impressed with the number of students from all across the state who are able to stand up in front of over 370 resource professionals and speak so passionately about these important conservation topics. Public speaking can be really intimidating but these students are gaining invaluable life skills through public speaking while addressing important conservation challenges. It is encouraging to know that these students have the passion to address these timely conservation issues and are coming up with solutions that will make an impact in our own communities.”
SPEAKING CONTEST 2017
First place: Ellie Lurvey, Oneida County, "Craspedacusta Sowerbyi"
Second place: Lilly Jensen, St. Croix County, "Baby it's Warm Outside"
Third place: Olivia McNally, Burnett County, "The Alien of Wisconsin"
First place: Kate Schraufnagel, Clark County, "Backyard Blues"
Second place: Annika Waltenberg, Portage County, "Portage County's Treasure"
Third Place: Carlton Miller, Washburn County, "Mussels: Here Today... Gone Forever?"
First place: Sydney Schunck, Washburn County, "Oak Wilt"
Second place: Adileen Sii, Wood County, "The Resource Games: Forestry Management and Wisconsin's Watershed"
Third place: Benjamin Styer, Dunn County, "Sustainable Conservation: A Travel Through Time"
POSTER CONTEST 2017
Primary Division (Grades K-1)
First Place: Jesse Arnold, Columbia County
Second Place: Joshua Knapp, Green Lake County
Third Place: Callie Hydinger, St. Croix County
Elementary Division (Grades 2-3)
First Place: Ciara Waltenberg, Portage County
Second Place: Luke Hydinger, St. Croix County
Third Place: Eli McKay, Vernon County
Middle Division (Grades 4-6)
First Place: Ashley Lisiecki, Portage County
Second Place: Ava Shannon, Richland County
Third Place: Emily Peters, Marinette County
Junior Division (Grades 7-9)
First Place: Ally Klug, Washington County
Second Place: Annika Waltenberg, Portage County
Third Place: Sadie Goettl, Green Lake County
Senior Division (Grades 10-12)
First Place: Mariana Segura, Green Lake County
Second Place: Emma Lee, Vernon County
Third Place: Mikayla Eraquam, Barron County
“This is my first year hosting the WI Land+Water Conservation speaking contest and I was really impressed with the number of students from all across the state who are able to stand up in front of over 370 resource professionals and speak so passionately about these important conservation topics. Public speaking can be really intimidating but these students are gaining invaluable life skills through public speaking while addressing important conservation challenges. It is encouraging to know that these students have the passion to address these timely conservation issues and are coming up with solutions that will make an impact in our own communities.”
Eric Paulsen, Co-Host of Discover Wisconsin