WES Student Places First in Local, State and Regional Poster Contest

Post date: Jul 02, 2014 5:59:28 PM

In March, Wells Elementary School student Logan Blanchard received first place in the second grade category at the local level of the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest for 2014. Since that time her poster has moved on to even greater heights by receiving first place in State and New England regional competition.

“I was amazed,” said Blanchard’s Art Teacher Sandy Brennan. “She is a great little artist and she works hard.” Brennan said that Blanchard’s poster is currently being judged at the national level.

Began in 1961, the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest is open to all first through fifth grade students. This annual contest is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Forest Service and National Garden Clubs, Inc. Locally it is sponsored by the Seacoast Garden Club.

The contest seeks to encourage children to be involved with natural resource conservation and wildfire prevention. According to the USDA, this contest gives “students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of wildfire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl.”

First place winners in national level competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip for four to Washington, D.C. where they will attend a Recognition Ceremony and each receive $50 from National Garden Clubs.

This year the contest stipulated that students incorporate an image of the iconic 70 year-old bear park ranger with his familiar fire prevention slogan, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires”. Smokey the Bear first appeared in 1944 to reinforce the notion that individuals can help prevent forest fires. Woodsy Owl appeared in 1971 with the conservation message of “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land”.

This year, 86 WES second grade students along with elementary students from Kennebunk entered the contest.

Caption: Logan Blanchard and WES Art teacher Sandy Brennan