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Invasive species poster contest still on

April 17, 2020 by Beckie Gaskill

Invasive species do not take a break and they do not understand social distancing. For that reason, the 2020 Invasive Species Poster Contest is still on for fourth through eighth graders. Oneida County conservationist Michele Sadauskas said the recent COIVD-19 pandemic has meant some changes for the contest, which is in its ninth year. Interest in the contest has grown each year, with students from schools in counties across northern Wisconsin. 

There are four divisions in the poster contest: fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade and seventh and eighth grade. All students who attend public or private school, or who are homeschooled in Wisconsin, are eligible to compete by entering a poster into the contest. 

Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. Normally, posters would be mailed to the land and water department, which is still an option, or dropped off at one of the drop off stations in various counties. This year, though, with schools out of session and people being asked to stay home for anything other than essential reasons, posters will also be accepted via email. 

“We will start accepting photos of poster entries,” Sadauskas said. “In this way, students can easily participate from home.” 

When taking a photo of the poster, she said, it is important the photograph be clear and fill the entire frame of the shot. An entry form must accompany the photograph of each poster. Entry forms can be found on the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department website www.oclw.org. Sample winning posters can be found there also. Photographed entries can be emailed to [email protected]

Last year, a total of 557 posters were on display at the Oneida County courthouse on the poster contest “Wall of Fame.” Posters will be judged the week of May 4-8. Winners will be notified on May 8. Posters remain on display through the month of June, which is Invasive Species Awareness Month. 

Artwork must be original work of the student. Posters that are mailed or dropped off must be 11x17 or smaller and have an official entry form taped to the back. The student’s name should also be printed on the back of the poster. Posters can be on any color paper, but it must be unlined. Photographs, stamps and stickers are not allowed on the posters. Any coloring materials such as crayons, watercolors, chalk or markers, can be used to create the poster. 

Entrants are encouraged to “think outside the box,” about invasive species and their message.

Judging criteria include: effectiveness of message, understanding of topic, universal appeal, originality/creativity, and following of the contest rules.

Poster winers in each division will be awarded trophies for first, second, and third place. Honorable mention and Best Slogan will be awarded at judges discretion. The first place winner’s class will receive a $30 class prize and the student’s school library will receive a field guide. Winners are also featured in a calendar distributed to each winner’s classroom and local library.

Visit the land and water website for more information and for a list of drop off locations. Entrants should be aware that some drop off locations may be closed or have limited hours due to the pandemic. All are invited to email their entries, however, to the email address above. Any questions can be directed to the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department at 715-369-7835.

Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at [email protected]

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