Illinois EPA launches annual environmental education competition for
fifth- and sixth-grade students
encourages youth creativity about how to protect environment
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[December 28, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD — Fifth- and
sixth-grade writers and artists from around Illinois are invited to
compete in this year's Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest sponsored by
the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency with the partnership of
the Illinois State Board of Education. This year's contest is
focused on environmental justice, how to balance people with
industry, and learning about environmental issues in students' own
Each school can enter up to eight works: four posters and four
written. Entries must be postmarked and sent in to the Illinois EPA
by Feb. 3. An in-house panel from the Illinois EPA judges all
entries to select the finalists, whose entries are then judged by an
outside panel of authorities to determine the top 12 winners.
All finalists, together with their families and teachers, are
invited to an awards ceremony and reception on March 29 at the Old
State Capitol Historic Site in Springfield.
During the 1840s and 1850s, the Old State Capitol was the scene
of debate over issues that led the nation to war in 1861. During the
Civil War, as the seat of government, the Capitol was the center of
the state's wartime mobilization. The building also provided space
for local events aiding the needs of local residents as well as
soldier relief efforts.
Following the awards ceremony and reception, the top entries will
be on exhibit in the atrium of the Illinois EPA's headquarters
building in Springfield from March 31 through April 30, and the top
winners will be featured on the Illinois EPA's home page at
"You're never too young to start learning about the environment,"
said Lisa Bonnett, director of the Illinois EPA. "We hope that
students can learn more about the environmental issues facing their
own communities and have fun showing off their creativity at the
"Environmental protection is an important topic for all Illinois
students because it impacts them throughout their lives," said Dr.
Christopher Koch, superintendent of the Illinois State Board of
Education. "This contest is a great way for students to better
appreciate our natural resources and learn how to protect them."
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The Illinois EPA is one member of the Illinois Commission on
Environmental Justice, which operates under the principle that
environmental justice requires that no segment of the population,
regardless of race, national origin, age or income, should bear
disproportionately high or adverse effects of environmental
pollution. The commission is charged with advising state entities on
environmental justice; analyzing the impact of state and local laws
and policies on environmental justice and sustainable communities;
developing criteria to assess whether communities in the state may
be experiencing environmental issues; and recommending options to
the governor's office and legislators for addressing these issues.
Information about the contest is available on the Illinois EPA
More information about the annual contest can be obtained by
contacting Kristi Morris, environmental education coordinator for
the Illinois EPA, at 217-558-7198, or by mail at 1021 North Grand
Ave. East, P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794-9276.
Environmental Protection Agency
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]