The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources conducts a wide range of conservation research and outreach every year to ensure the proper management of the state’s natural resources. Soil and water conservation is a key part of the agency’s mission. After all, people and wildlife depend on healthy soil and water to live. The state’s 46 conservation districts are heavily involved in these efforts at the grassroots level.
Soil and water essay and poster contests have grown to become long-running traditions in many conservation districts across the state. This year, twenty-three students received awards in the Conservation Poster Contest sponsored by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Student posters addressed the topic “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper,” raising awareness about the importance of healthy soil ecosystems and how humans can protect and promote soil life. Students illustrated this theme in a multitude of ways, from the colorful biology of soil ecosystems to conservation practices such as silt fences which reduce soil erosion on disturbed ground. This year’s participants demonstrated that soil is more than just “dirt,” and that we should take precautionary measures to ensure its health.
2019 “Life in the Soil” first place posters are featured below along with a listing of top finishers in the contest.
First Place: Taylor Kohn, Sisältö Institutti, 10th grade
First Place: Destiny Houston, Longleaf Middle School, 7th grade
Second Place: Lillie Graham, Longleaf Middle School, 7th grade
Third Place: Erin Kohn, Sisältö Institutti, 8th grade
Honorable Mention: Samaiya Days, Longleaf Middle School, 7th grade
Honorable Mention: DeAsia Jacobs, Longleaf Middle School, 7th grade
Honorable Mention: Abdurhman Quzah, Longleaf Middle School, 7th grade
First Place: Annie James, Crayton Middle School, 6th grade
Second Place: Sara Weston, Crayton Middle School, 6th grade
Third Place: Gabrielle Franklin, Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, 4th grade
Honorable Mention: Eliza Brown, Saint John Neumann Catholic School, 5th grade
Honorable Mention: Ayanna Frederick, Catawba Trail Elementary, 5th grade
Honorable Mention: Lillie Brown, Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, 4th grade
First Place: Evan Outlaw, Catawba Trail Elementary, 2nd grade
Second Place: Natalie McElveen, Logan Elementary, 2nd Grade
Third Place: Nigeria Brown, Edward E. Taylor Elementary, 3rd grade
Honorable Mention: Tanner Toogood, Lake Carolina Elementary, 3rd grade
Honorable Mention: Janely Resendíz, L.W. Conder Arts Integrated Magnet School, 3rd grade
First Place: Samara Wilkins, Edward E. Taylor Elementary, 1st grade
Second Place: Zipporah Bull, Arden Elementary, 1st grade
Third Place: Rylie Cureton, Catawba Trail Elementary, 1st grade
Honorable Mention: Lily Rankin, AC Moore Elementary, 1st grade
Honorable Mention: Ian Pordes, AC Moore Elementary, 1st grade
Winners received cash prizes and were recognized at the Richland SWCD’s Conservation Cookout in May. Five entries progress to the state competition sponsored by the SC Association of Conservation Districts.
Nearly 150 students submitted entries to this year’s contest, and nearly 2,000 students learned about the contest topic through interactive presentations conducted in classrooms across Richland County. “When students can understand a natural resource better, they are more likely to want to conserve and to take care of it,” says Mary Hannah Lindsay, a recent University of South Carolina graduate and Richland SWCD Education Program Assistant. “This poster contest allowed the students to understand soil better, and to turn it into art. There is beauty in soil, and even more in protecting it, and this was a great way for students to see that and teach it to others through their posters.”
The Conservation Poster Contest is an annual education program hosted by the Richland SWCD with support from the South Carolina and National Associations of Conservation Districts. For more information about this or other conservation education programs, contact Chanda Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.