Three Richland County students have received recognition for illustrating the benefits of healthy soil as part of a statewide poster contest.
All three students were recognized for their entries in the Youth Conservation Poster Contest, sponsored by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), in May 2019. Those entries then advanced to the state competition.
Evan Outlaw, now a third-grade student at Catawba Trail Elementary, won first place in the second-third grade category. Taylor Kohn, now an 11th-grader at the Sisältö Institutti, took first in the 10th-12th grade category. And Samara Wilkins, now a second-grade student at Edward E. Taylor Elementary, received honorable mention in the kindergarten-first grade category.
Fitting with the contest’s theme, “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper,” students had to show the benefits of healthy soil and how conservation practices can promote that health. Far more than just dirt, healthy soil supports plant life, with plant roots helping to create spaces through which water and oxygen can travel.
Outlaw’s poster portrayed a lively soil sample, full of beneficial bacteria and small earth-dwelling creatures. Kohn’s entry showed a soil profile interwebbed with an intricate root system.
Both students will receive cash awards, and their posters will progress to the national competition. Wilkins will receive a special certificate of appreciation.
Awards aside, the annual competition encourages students to see soil as a resource worth caring for, said Chanda Cooper, education analyst for Richland County Conservation.
The poster contest is administered locally by each county’s soil and water conservation district, with support from the state and national Associations of Conservation Districts.
Nearly 150 students in Richland County took part in the 2019 contest. State winners included:
- Kindergarten-first grade: Aislyn McGranigle, Kershaw SWCD
- Second-third grade: Evan Carl Outlaw, Richland SWCD
- Fourth-sixth grade: Makenzie C. Jean, Lancaster SWCD
- Seventh-ninth grade: Makila Attarwala, Lexington SWCD
- 10th-12th grade: Taylor Noelle Kohn, Richland SWCD
Several students also received honorable mention and were recognized for outstanding participation, including:
- Juan Covarrubias, Kershaw SWCD
- Patterson Greene, Cherokee SWCD
- Kinsley Blackwell, Cherokee SWCD
- Griffin Coulter, Clarendon SWCD
- Samuel Bishop, Cherokee SWCD
- Claire Gilfillan, York SWCD
- Samara Wilkins, Richland SWCD
Entries for the 2020 contest were due by May 8 to be considered for awards. Results were announced earlier this week.
For more information, reach Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.