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2015 Poster and Speaking Winners

Congratulations to all youth poster & speaking participants! 

The Wisconsin Land+Water Conservation Association hosted its 62nd Annual Conservation Conference at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton Monday, March 9-11, 2015. As part of the conference the Wisconsin Land +Water Youth Education Committee hosted the 58th Annual 2015 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 Monday to a crowd of over 350 conservation professionals from across the state.

Mariah Haberman, 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. “Educating youth on critical conservation topics is even more important with all of the cuts to conservation. It starts and ends with our youth so it is critical that we engage them in our Youth Education programs at the local level,” said VandenBrook. “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 “To Till or Not to Till, That is the Question,” discussing the advantages and disadvantages of no-till systems, “The Effects of Blue-Green Algae” discussing the importance of cleaning up our lakes for our health as well as the environment and “Flicker of Hope” looking for conservation hope in honor of Aldo Leopold’s Legacy. New this 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 2016. The conservation poster awareness theme this year was “Local Heroes Your Hardworking Pollinators.” Haberman closed out the speaking contest thanking the participants for putting so much time and effort into their speeches. “As someone who speaks for a living, it is not easy to stand in front of over 350 conservation professionals and give a speech, she said, but I believe it is important to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Listening to the quality and the timely topics of the speeches fills me with hope for our future generations and their commitment to conservation.”


Click on the student name below for their individual speaker award photo

Elementary Division

First place: Kendra Goplin, Trempealeau County, “To Till or Not to Till, That is the Question!”

Second place: Kiley Hoitomt, St. Croix County, “Water Pollution in Wisconsin” 

Third place: Gretchen Lee, Burnett County, “Round Goby”

Junior Division 

First place: Kaylynn Imsande, Dunn County, “The Effects of Blue-Green Algae”

Second place: Linda Harmon, Burnett County, “Multiflora Rose”

Third Place: Grace Ribbe, Oneida County, “Save the Oaks”

Senior Division

First place: Brooke Brantner, Dunn County, “Flicker of Hope”

Second place: Adileen Sii, Wood County, “ The Land of Animal Waste Lagoons"

Third place: Rebecca Hoevel, Marquette County, “Recycling and Landfill Pollution”




Primary Division (Grades K-1)

First Place: Emersen Sell, Green Lake County

Second Place: Taylor Sylla, Trempealeau County

Third Place: Noelle Winquist, Washington County

Elementary Division (Grades 2-3)

First Place: Fischer Bargenquast, Green Lake County

Second Place: Chloe Gapinski, Washington County

Third Place: Kalena Riemer, Green County

Middle Division (Grades 4-6)

First Place: Kianna Suchla, Trempealeau County

Second Place: Natalie Ruppier, Washington County

Third Place: Emma Mullin, Polk County

Junior Division (Grades 7-9)

First Place: Jenna Charron, Outagamie County

Second Place: Amanda Piotrowski, Wood County

Third Place: Madeline Schultz, Marinette County

Senior Division (Grades 10-12)

First Place: Thomas Lardinois, Iron County

Second Place: Andrea Briese, Green Lake County

Third Place: Taylor Helgerson, Crawford County


Click here to download the list of 2015 Poster and Speaking Winners

"Listening to the quality and the timely topics of the speeches fills me with hope for our future generations and their commitment to conservation."  

Mariah Haberman, Co-Host of Discover Wisconsin