Manassas Journal Messenger | Students win state Arbor Day award

Prince William County is home to eco-minded children who know how to show their appreciation for trees.

About 1,470 students entered Arbor Day posters into an annual contest sponsored by the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District and one of them has received a state award for hers.

Lucia Rodriguez, a fifth-grader at Yorkshire Elementary School, won first place in the statewide competition judged by the Virginia Department of Natural History.

She was among 32 students who were recognized Tuesday for their work on “Trees are Terrific” posters during an Arbor Day celebration, when kids sang songs and showed posters they drew to promote love of trees.

Prince William Academy students entertained the crowd with songs of tree appreciation and odes to their strength.

Lucia Rodriguez worked on her poster in and out of school.

“She’s an outstanding young lady that certainly exemplifies the youth at our school,” said Yorkshire Principal Bonnie Penland.

Lucia’s mother, Lorena Rodriguez, said she’s very proud of her 10-year-old daughter.

Lucia has always been one to draw creative pictures and match colors to make them shine, Lucia’s mother said.

“She was making a lot of pictures before that one,” said Lorena Rodriguez. “At last she decided to put it all together.”

The poster showed the Earth with a forest rooted into the green continents. Among the branches, Lucia Rodriguez sketched scenes of a house using a fireplace for heat, a line of trees providing shade and a forest providing a habitat for woodland creatures.

Another scene among the bows was a green sprout of trees that supported an ecosystem near a lake.

Yorkshire Elementary School art teacher Beth Moyer said she taught kids at the school for several weeks about trees and their usefulness in conserving energy and environmental benefits.

She also taught them how to make eye-catching posters.

“I guess it really paid off,” she said of Lucia’s winning poster, which has been submitted into the National Arbor Day Foundation contest.

Three of the state’s 10 runner ups attend area elementary schools.

They are:

• Jennifer Lee, a fifth-grader from Tyler Elementary School

• Lee Rock, a fifth-grader from Baldwin Elementary School

• Julianne O’Brien, a fifth-grader from Sudley Elementary School

• Taylor Lam, a fifth-grader from Dale City Elementary School.


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