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The 2014 State Conservation Awareness Poster & Speaking Contests

The 57th annual State Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contests were held in Appleton at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel on Monday, March 10, 2014.Volunteers from various county land conservation departments and natural resource state agencies and Fox Speaks Toastmasters club helped judge the speaking contest and poster contest. The first place winning speaker from each division presented their award-winning speech at the WI Land+Water Annual Conference luncheon on Monday to a crowd of over 300 conservation professionals from across the state.

Mariah Haberman, host of Discover Wisconsin and Jim VandenBrook, Executive Director of Wisconsin Land and 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. “Educating our youth about conservation is critical to our state’s future," said VandenBrook.


The winning speeches ranged in topics from “The World’s Greatest Sponge” promoting the value of wetlands, to “Frac Sand” which explained the need for sound management of frac sand mining operations, to “Worth of Wisconsin Water,” discussing how dependent we are on abundant supplies of water to maintain healthy lakes, streams and groundwater for safe drinking water, sustainable agriculture, communities and ecosystems. Haberman also announced the first place winner for the poster contest from each division whose theme this year was “Dig Deeper: Mysteries in the Soil”. The first place posters represented Wisconsin at the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Poster Contest during the National Association annual meeting held February 1-4, 2015 in New Orleans, LA.  Two of the first place poster entries from Wisconsin won honorable mention at the national level.


Elementary Division (Grades 5-6):

First place: Breanna Weiland, Waupaca County, “The World’s Greatest Sponge”
Second place: Jasmine Pleet, Wood County
Third place: Abby Fry, St. Croix County

Junior Division(Grades 7-8):

First place:Chloe Steiner, Barron County, “Frac Sand”
Second place: Sadie Groothousen, Rusk County; Third place
Martin Hogar, Oneida County, and Natalie Rustad, Waupaca County

Senior Division (Grades 9-12):

First place: Lily Howder, Eau Claire County, “Worth of Wisconsin Water”
Second place: Adileen Sii, Wood County
Third place: Cortney Runnels, Marquette County




National Awards (Awarded February 2015)

Senior Division (Grades 10-12):

Honorable Mention: Taylor Helgerson, Crawford County

Junior Division (Grades 7-9):

Honorable Mention: Lily Anne Schroeder, Oconto County

Middle Division (Grades 4-6):

Participant: Ben McMeeken, Washington County

Elementary Division (Grades 2-3):

Participant: Rebel Sorenson, Juneau County

Primary Division(Grades K-1):

Participant: Chance Doyle, Juneau County


State Awards

Primary Division(Grades K-1):

First place: Chance Doyle, Juneau County
Second place: Matthew Winch, Grant County
Third place: Krystal Moddie, Marinette County

Elementary Division (Grades 2-3):

First place: Rebel Sorenson, Juneau County
Second place: Michaela Runde, Grant County
Third place: Samuel Ross, Polk County

Middle Division (Grades 4-6):

First place: Ben McMeeken, Washington County
Second place: Olivia Asare-Outagamie County
Third place: MacKenzie Slater, Pepin County

Junior Division (Grades 7-9):

First Place: Lily Anne Schroeder, Oconto County
Second place: Lindsay Neefe, Richland County
Third place: Linnea Ryan, Outagamie County

Senior Division (Grades 10-12):

First place: Taylor Helgerson, Crawford County
Second place: Christian Tango-an, Fond du Lac County
Third place: Maria Nogueira, Marinette County

“These pint-sized conservation advocates were so fearless! It sure was refreshing (and comforting!) to hear the passionate opinions of our next generation,” said Haberman.