MADISON - The Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association (WI Land+Water) hosted its 69thAnnual Conservation Conference virtually on March 2-4, 2022. As part of the conference, the WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee hosted the 65th Annual Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contest, where students from across Wisconsin presented speeches about relevant conservation topics and posters were displayed with a conservation theme about soil biology. Members of the Youth Education Committee and volunteers from County Land Conservation Departments judged the speaking contest, and Association members and conference registrants voted on student posters.
Students from across Wisconsin submitted their speeches about relevant conservation topics, and these were judged prior to the start of the conference. WI Land+Water members and guests were able to view the first-place winning speeches and vote on the conservation posters that were featured on the conference hub website. Speeches addressed a relevant, soil and water conservation issue, with emphasis on the impact of the issue in their locality or in Wisconsin.
For the poster contest, the first-place winners in the primary, elementary, middle, junior, and senior division will move on to represent Wisconsin at the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Poster Contest held at the NACD annual meeting in 2023. The conservation poster awareness theme this year was “Healthy Soils, Healthy Life.”
“Each year it is exciting to see the knowledge, passion and research that the students put into their speeches about timely conservation topics and the amazing artwork highlighting the importance of ‘Healthy Soils, Healthy Life.’” said Matt Krueger, Executive Director of WI Land+Water. “Thank you to all of the students who took time to participate in our Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contest.”
The Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking contests are two of the many programs that the WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee coordinates to educate and inspire Wisconsin’s youth about the importance of stewardship and caring for our natural resources. To learn more about these programs, visit: wisconsinlandwater.org/our-work/youth-education
Elementary Division: First place: Lachlan Mouw, Oneida County, “Chinese Mystery Snail”; Second place: Kaleb Johnson, Trempealeau County, “WI Walley’s Hit a Wall”; Third place: Ellory Hauk, St. Croix County, “Recycling in WI.”
Junior Division: First place: Josephine Mehling, Pepin County, “Burning Plastic & Creation of Dioxins’”; Second place: Emma Schueller, Rusk County, “Groundwater Contamination”; Third Place: Halle Drew, Marquette County, “Water Conservation Speech”
Senior Division: First place: Emma Mullin, Polk County, “Conservation +Sustainability: Helping the Earth Help Us”; Second place: Cade Stankowski, Portage County, “The Cost of Chemicals” Third place: No student competed
Primary Division: (K-1) First Place: Paizley Helmers, Sauk County; Second Place: Kennedy Whyte, Washington County; Third Place: Cecelia Green, Barron County.
Elementary Division: (2-3) First Place: Alaina Belcher, Adams County; Second Place: Emma Pampuch, Trempealeau County; Third Place: Nora Schmied-Boelk, Portage County.
Middle Division: (4-6) First Place: Adelaide Woodward, Vernon County; Second Place: Katelyn McNelly, Portage County; Third Place: Pearl Hillary, Green County.
Junior Division: (7-9) First Place: Madison Wojciuch, Walworth County; Second Place: Austin Stickney, Shawano County; Third Place: Aubrie Marker, Washburn County.
Senior Division: (10-12) First Place: Kayla Weller, Sawyer County; Second Place: Sophia Roth, Green County; Third Place: Keaton Diffor, Washington County.