WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee Hosts 67th Annual Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contests

March 19, 2024 |

Green Bay—Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association (WI Land+Water) held its 71st Annual Conservation Conference on March 6-8, 2024. As part of the conference, the WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee hosted the 67th 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 of the importance of forests. Members of the Youth Education Committee and volunteers from county land and water conservation departments judged the speaking contest, and Association members and conference attendees voted on student posters.

The first-place speakers from the elementary, junior and senior divisions presented their speeches to a crowd of 550 conservation professionals and guests from across the state during the conference’s opening luncheon. Speeches addressed a relevant, soil and water conservation issue, issue, focusing on its impact within their local community or in the state of 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 2025. The conservation poster awareness theme this year was “May the Forest Be With You Always.”

Chris Hamerla, Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator with Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., and Matt Krueger, Executive Director of WI Land+Water, presented awards to the speaking contest winners. They commended the students from across Wisconsin for their outstanding speeches and posters and their commitment to conservation.

“Kicking off our 71st Annual Conservation Conference with our student speakers is such an inspiration for our conservation community,” said Krueger. “Listening to the various conservation topics and issues that the students research and speak on gives us great hope for this next generation of conservation leaders.”

Hamerla thanked the participants for all the hard work put into their speeches and posters. "The interest and enthusiasm shown by the participants is impressive. It is great to see the continued interest in our lands and waters by listening to all these well thought out and delivered speeches, as well as the creativity put into the posters.”

The Conservation Awareness Poster and Speaking Contests are two of the many programs that WI Land+Water’s 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/youtheducation


Elementary Division: First place: Delilah Solberg, Trempealeau County, “A Fishy Tail in Trempealeau County”; Second place: Adisyn Schoeneck, Oneida County, “Karner Blue Flutterbys”; Third place: Olivia Breger, Columbia County, “Pollution in Lake Michigan.”

Junior Division: First place: Joshua Price, Rusk County, “Buckthorn and Invasive Species’”; Second place: Mia Fuehrer, Marquette County, “Phrag-What Now?”; Third Place: Jayden Brunner, Pepin County, “Herbicides and Pesticides.”

Senior Division: First place: Carter Stueve, St. Croix County, “Emerald Ash Borer: A Shimmery, expensive and deadly threat to Wisconsin Woodlands”; Second place: Hazel Skarlupka, Vernon County, “The Effects of Agricultural Runoff and What We Can Do”; Third place: Amber Higley, Vilas County, “I Speak For the Trees…Because They Only Talk to Each Other.”


Primary Division: (K-1) First Place: Ainsley Stepleton, Green Lake County; Second Place: Lynnette Herrild, Sauk County; Third Place: Audra Belisle, Polk County.

Elementary Division: (2-3) First Place: Kenzie Abbrederis, Marquette County; Second Place: Tulip Ghorai, Washington County; Third Place: Hazel Canada, Vilas County.

Middle Division: (4-6) First Place: Faith Wuthenow, Marathon County; Second Place: Amelia Czcapinski, Outagamie County; Third Place: Teva Ebel-Naber, Monroe County.

Junior Division: (7-9) First Place: Evelyn Morse, Sawyer County; Second Place: Hannah Burchfield, Sauk County; Third Place: Ava Nor, Walworth County.

Senior Division: (10-12) First Place: Jenna Collins, Washington County; Second Place: Erin Ewert, Sawyer County; Third Place: Karmen Paulus, Trempealeau County.

View Winning Posters & Speeches

2024 Contest Results
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