The judging has concluded for the 2023 Arbor Day poster contest, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Maryland First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore joined Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz and a panel of forestry experts to review submissions and award three Maryland schools with tree plantings this spring.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz and Maryland First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore stand with the top three entries in the 2023 Maryland Arbor Day Poster Contest. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Office of the Governor

“This annual contest is a wonderful way to engage students and to celebrate protecting the environment through artistic expression,” said Maryland First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore. “I am always amazed to see what passionate young minds can do when given the tools and inspiration to express their creativity.”

Each fall, the Maryland Forest Service, in partnership with the Maryland Forest Conservancy District Boards, invites Maryland’s fifth graders to submit a poster following a yearly theme. Posters are first judged on a county level, and the winner from each county is forwarded to the Maryland Urban and Community Forestry Committee to be included in the annual contest.

Judges reviewed posters from several Maryland counties, displayed anonymously during the contest. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Office of the Governor

Students created this year’s posters using various artistic techniques, illustrating this year’s contest theme, “Trees Are Terrific…?and Cool Our Communities?!” Addilyn Centineo, of Eldersburg, Carroll County won first place, and her school will receive 15 trees for planting. Second place, with a prize of 10 trees, was awarded to Daisy Vargas-Martinez of Pittsville, Wicomico County. Emma Secrist of Accident, Garrett County won third place and a prize of five trees.

“The Arbor Day Poster Contest is a great display for our young people to get involved in and spread the word about environmental stewardship,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “This year’s message is especially important, highlighting the connection of trees, quality of life, and combating the effects of climate change.”

Winning entries and more event photos are available on the Department of Natural Resources website.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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