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HARRISON – As part of its Wellhead Protection efforts, the City of Harrison conducts various presentations aimed at increasing awareness of how to protect the community’s essential water resource. The City focuses on students, particularly fifth-graders and middle-schoolers, believing that young, discovering minds are eager to share that ecological awareness at home.
The City provides water models to the schools which illustrate migration down through soils, substrate ground structures/rock strata to the aquifer that flows below. The City also encourages protection of the municipal water supply by conducting an annual calendar art contest. Students create their best illustrations of why preservation of the aquifer is necessary, or steps people can take to ensure the water supply is protected.
This year’s calendar winners were announced Friday, June 7 at Hillside Elementary School by Tracey Connelly, city manager/clerk. Before presenting awards, she took a moment to remind students why their efforts to bring awareness of the importance of protecting the local water supply are vital.
“I want everyone to know that it’s really important that we protect the water,” Connelly said. “We can’t live without water, and if we contaminate the water beneath us, we’ve got a serious problem.”
She urged the students to remember that every time they spill something on the ground, it can filter down into the ground and has the potential to contaminate the drinking water. And that was the point students were trying to make via their art.
“It was so hard to pick,” Connelly said. “The pictures were all so good.”
The winning submissions were selected from pieces submitted by students in all the fifth-grade classes. Connelly first announced the overall winner, Kyley Wyman, who received a calendar, and a certificate of appreciation along with a nice, crisp $50 bill. Her submission will grace the January calendar.
The remaining 11 winners received calendars and contest winner certificates. Those students are Mason Root (February), Alexis Davis (March), Chelsea Bayn (April), Daniel Stewart (May), Brianna Graves (June), Adam Kimball (July), Ariaunna Workman (August), Peyton Golia (September), Barbara Sapp (October), Hunter Lach (November), and Hayley Neff (December).
Connelly explained that photos of the honorable mention entries were printed on the calendar back. Those receiving honorable mention certificates were Destiny Jacobs, Charlie Beckwith, Cadence Hardy, Isabel Heath, Bella Lones, Kaylee High, Anastasia Caster, Hope Purvis, Jordan Price and Ryan Jocham.
Connelly also urged the fifth-graders to stay involved and to participate in City-sponsored contests at the middle school.
“We’ve done T-shirts in the past,” she said. “This year, we did water bottles. Hopefully, you’ll continue to participate.”
Connelly said the Harrison Middle School water bottle art competition was won by Max Coulson, and that every Harrison Middle School student received one of the water bottles bearing the winning artwork.
The choice to decorate a refillable water bottle is not just an example of keeping groundwater safe; it also is an ecological symbol.
“It takes 700 years for a [throw-away] water bottle to disintegrate/decompose,” Connelly said.
The 2020 calendar art of all these students will be given out at the Clare County Fair as well as at Harrison Street Fair. The winning water bottles also will be available at those events.