|Evan Carl Outlaw
K-1st Grade Division State Winner
|Emiya Carolyn Gallman
7th-9th Grade Division State Winner
Columbia, SC—Two Richland County students have been named state winners in the 2017 National Conservation Poster Contest: Evan Carl Outlaw, who was a kindergartener at Catawba Trail Elementary School when he entered the contest and is now in first grade, is the K-1st Grade Division Winner. Emiya Carolyn Gallman, who was an eighth grader in the ZooBot Magnet Program at Longleaf Middle School when she entered the contest and is now in ninth grade at Blythewood High School, is the 7th-9th Grade Division Winner.
Their posters addressed the topic “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life” and were designed to raise awareness about the importance of healthy soils and their uses. “Healthy soils are extremely important for growing the food we eat, and globally, soil depletion is a major problem,” says Vikki Pasco, Science Lab Teacher at Catawba Trail Elementary and Outlaw’s teacher. “Kindergarteners at our school learn about soil health through our school composting program. They collect leftover fruit and vegetable scraps from the cafeteria in the compost wagon, see where the big kids dump [this material] in the compost bins, learn about turning the compost, and help spread last year’s compost in our school gardens.”
Outlaw obviously got the message, because his poster shows all aspects of this soil-building process, from the collection of leftovers in the compost wagon to active decomposition in the compost bin to healthy humus in the garden.
Gallman’s poster, which was the Grand Prize Winner in the Richland County competition last spring, depicts the power of healthy soils to produce vibrant harvests of pumpkins, corn, and other vegetables as well as the dynamic power of soil organisms like earthworms and ants to assist in the decomposition of organic matter and the creation of healthy soil. As a participant in the ZooBot (School of Zoological and Botanical Studies) Magnet Program in Richland County School District 2, Gallman had several opportunities to learn about the importance of soil conservation throughout her middle school career.
According to ZooBot Lead Teacher Kristin Ziegler, “the ZooBot Magnet Program provides opportunities [for students] to explore the natural world, develop an appreciation and respect for living things and the environment, and make a difference for future generations. Emiya [Gallman] utilized this poster contest as an opportunity to make a difference…her exemplary artwork is an avenue she uses to promote environmental awareness.”
The National Conservation Poster Contest is an annual education program sponsored at the national level by the National Association of Conservation Districts, at the state level by the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts (SCACD), and at the local level by individual Soil and Water Conservation Districts, including the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (RSWCD).
“Poster contests are a way to involve students in conservation,” says Tina Blum, SCACD Executive Director. “Creating posters allows students to display their feelings about the environment and their eagerness to learn more about conservation measures.”
Outlaw and Gallman will receive their awards at the RSWCD Awards Banquet on May 17. For more information about the National Conservation Poster Contest and this year’s topic—Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home—visit the RSWCD website or contact Chanda Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. In South Carolina, Conservation District boundaries conform to County boundaries. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use of natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of Richland County.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088