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DEC Celebrates Student Arbor Day Contest Winner with Tree Planting
New York Ag Connection - 05/16/2022

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos todayannounced that fifth-grade student Cecilia Fedeson of North Tonawanda Intermediate School in North Tonawanda, Niagara County, is the winner of DEC's Annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest.

"This year's 5th grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winner's unique artwork captures the beauty and benefits trees provide in enhancing quality of life," said Seggos. "DEC congratulates Cecilia on her creation and appreciates all the student poster contest participants for their inspired submissions. We encourage students to continue taking active roles to highlight and protect our shared environment."

DEC provided a black hills spruce (picea glauca var. densata) and joined students in planting the tree at Fedeson's school in celebration of her achievement, with assistance from Northtowns Turf and Landscape, which donated labor and equipment to the school for the tree planting. Fedeson also received framed copy of her winning poster from DEC.

"As educators we need to stress and reinforce the importance of healthy earth, the Arbor Day Poster contest is just one of these ways. Every artist strives to hear their 'voice' heard through art," said Melinda J. Wright, the students' art teacher. "Congratulations to Cecilia and Grace for having their voices heard."

Fedeson's poster, along with the artwork of 11 runner-ups (including 5th grader Grace Gabel also of North Tonawanda Intermediate School), comprises the artwork for a newly-produced academic year calendar. The calendars are distributed to participating schools and are also available at DEC regional offices.

Each year, hundreds of fifth graders across the state compete in designing an educational and eye-catching poster focused on a theme honoring trees. The Arbor Day poster contest theme was "Healthy Trees, Healthy People."

The poster contest winners are selected by the nine regional chapters of New York ReLeaf, a volunteer group consisting of forest professionals, not-for-profit groups, and government organizations, and others interested in the benefits of urban and community forests. More than 2,000 students from across New York State participated in this year's contest.

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