This year marked the 10th year the Habitat Means Home poster contest has been held in the Tri-City area and more than 600 elementary school students submitted entries.
This year the 607 entries came from 25 elementary schools in Fremont, Newark and Union City. “As always, the competition was tough,” noted Carin High, the creator and organizer of the annual contest. “Posters are judged not only on artistic merit, but also based upon their written responses to questions about habitat and why habitat protection is important.”
The purpose of the contest is to encourage K-6 students in the Fremont, Newark and New Haven Unified School Districts to get out and explore and learn about the many habitats that exist at Coyote Hills Regional Park. “Through the science curriculum at school, students learn about important ecosystems in the equatorial rain forests or Arctic tundra, but it is also very important for them to realize there are critical habitats right within their own community that are worthy of protection and stewardship,” High added.
In addition to first, second and third prize awards, honorable mentions are awarded. Students receive prizes and the school of the winning poster receives $500 to improve the habitat of the students.
This year’s first place was awarded to Sireesh P. of Parkmont Elementary School in Fremont. Second place was awarded to Melissa L. of Warm Springs Elementary School, and third place went to Vipransh S. of Mission Valley Elementary School.
The Habitat Means Home poster contest is co-sponsored by the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, the Ohlone Audubon Society and the Friends of Coyote Hills.
All of the posters, including the winning posters, were displayed at Coyote Hills Regional Park in the visitor center from May 14th through June 1st. Then the winning posters traveled for a brief exhibition at East Bay Regional Park District’s Board of Director’s meeting room. Next the posters will be displayed at State Senator Bob Wieckowski ’s local office through the balance of the summer.
“This year we were hard-pressed to find enough space to display them all, but just managed (with a few exceptions due to size or difficulty of the medium). It is evident that a lot of heart and time go into the posters so we try to display them all. There’s a lot of work that goes into this poster contest. We couldn’t do it without the help of all our volunteers. They deserve a huge “thank you!” concluded High.
1st Place Winner. Snowy egret by Sireesh P. of Parkmont Elementary School, Fremont (4th Grade).
2nd Place Winner. American avocet by Melissa L. of Warm Springs Elementary, Fremont (6th Grade).
3rd Place Winner. Slender salamander by Vipransh S. of Mission Valley Elementary. (5th Grade)