A Norborne Elementary student has won the 2011 Missouri Arbor Day Poster Contest, beating out more than eight hundred students from around the state. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with fifth grader Leah Pieper.

Leah Pieper

Press Release from the Missouri Community Forestry Council:

JEFFERSON CITY — Leah Pieper, a 5th grade student at Norborne Elementary in Norborne, is the winner of the 2011 Missouri Arbor Day Poster Contest.

Pieper’s poster was selected by a panel of foresters and members of the Missouri Community Forestry Council. The contest, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Community Forestry Council, and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri asked students to create a poster reflecting the theme “Trees are Terrific….and Energy Wise!” Approximately 800 fifth-grade students from Missouri schools participated in the contest.

On April 14, Governor Jay Nixon will sign the Missouri Arbor Day proclamation in a ceremony at the State Capitol. Leah and her family are invited to attend this special event. In addition, Leah will receive a $100 savings bond from Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and a framed certificate from the Missouri Community Forestry Council.  A commemorative tree will also be planted on her school grounds by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Finally, the Pieper family has been invited to attend the “TREEmendous Forest Festival” on April 30 and May 1 at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis where Leah’s winning poster will be on display.

“Students like Leah have learned about the importance of trees to our environment and how they can make a difference,” according to Justine Gartner, Forestry Program Supervisor. “The poster contest is a fun and educational way to help students understand the value that trees provide in our communities. Because we realize that an awareness of our environment begins at a young age, the Missouri Department of Conservation helps promote many conservation education programs, like the recognition of Arbor Day and the poster competition.”

If you would like more information about the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest, please visit the Missouri Community Forestry Council’s website at www.mocommunitytrees.org and click on “What’s Going On.”