The artwork of Sarah Werner, a fifth-grader at Warwick Valley Middle School, was selected as the official NYS 2017 Arbor Day poster after winning the statewide contest sponsored by NYSDEC. Sarah was honored at the State Capitol on March 29 as part of the State’s Arbor Day celebrations. Her artwork appears on the 2017 NYS Arbor Day Bookmark, which is being distributed to schools and libraries all over the State.
This was the third year Warwick’s fifth-graders participated in the Arbor Day poster contest (approximately 2,000 students from around the state participate each year). Each school chooses a winning poster to enter the Hudson Valley regional competition, and nine regional winners advance to the State competition.
According to Town of Warwick Tree Commission Chair Karen Emmerich, Sarah’s 5th grade class, headed by teacher Patricia O’Connor, came out on a beautiful summer day to plant a DEC-donated red oak (Quercus rubra) in front of the Warwick Valley Middle School. “The tree is in honor of Sarah as this year’s statewide winner,” Emmerich says. “The children read a poem about the value of trees, and then added some fun facts about why trees are important in our lives. Gary from Building & Grounds prepared the tree pit. He’s planted many trees over the years at Warwick’s schools.”
Emmerich continues, “Gary assisted NYSDEC Region 3 Senior Forester George Profous in preparing the root ball and planting the tree. DEC’s Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg congratulated Sarah and her classmates on participating in the contest and gave everyone a copy of the poster and an Asian Longhorned Beetle temporary tattoo—a perfect ending to a summer day!”
Congrats to Sarah Werner and to all the participating students from Warwick Valley Central School District and around the State!