Arbor Day poster contest winners celebrated

To celebrate Arbor Day, students and staff of St. Dominic Catholic School planted a Greenspire Linden tree on school property south of the playground on Friday.

The tree planting ceremony followed an assembly to recognize the local winners in the 40th Annual Kansas Arbor Day Poster Contest.

Grady Gleason, a fifth-grader at St. Dominic Catholic School, took first place in both the city contest and the district contest. Other city winners included second place city contest finisher Abbigail Heckel, of Jennie Barker, and Tia Swords, of Charles O Stones Intermediate Center, who took third in the city.

The annual poster contest is open to public, private and home schooled fifth-graders across the state. The goal is to increase appreciation for and awareness of the important role trees play in the environment and quality of life.

More than 1,000 students participate at the local level with six district-winning posters competing for the state prize. The State winner, their family, teacher and principal are invited to the Kansas Tree City USA Recognition Day in the spring. State and district winners, teachers and schools also receive gift packages.

Sponsors and partners in the contest include the Kansas Forest Service, Westar Energy, Kansas City Power & Light, ITC, Kansas Arborists Association, Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association, Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, and the USDA Forest Service.