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Students called to explore Kentucky’s important water resources

In Education, News, State by OC Monitor Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky students can learn about the fundamental need for water, how activities and behaviors affect its quality and ways they can make a difference through this year’s Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in cooperation with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation sponsor the annual contest and provide materials that can be used in classrooms or at home to help students learn about the year’s topic. Articles, suggested activities, fun facts and trivia have been provided to help students understand the importance of water conservation, and include the relationship between forests and water quality, an explanation of the water cycle and watersheds, how pollution and nutrients impact aquatic life and more.

“Kentucky is blessed with abundant water sources, and by teaching our kids the importance of protecting our water, we set them up for a safer, healthier future,” said Gov. Beshear.

The art contest, for grades one through five, and writing contest, for grades six through 12, allow students to use the knowledge they have gained about the topic and transform it into creative artwork and written essays. Entries should focus on encouraging action toward good water conservation practices.

“We look forward to participating in this creative effort every year, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “This project encourages students to learn more about the environment and the world around them, and it provides an excellent, in-depth tool for parents and educators.”

The conservation writing and art contests began in 1944 and 1974, respectively. James B. Claypool was the first assistant director of the Division of Conservation and was hired in 1947. He became director in 1960. A Warren County native, Claypool was a graduate of Western Kentucky University and taught vocational-agriculture at Bradfordsville and Greensburg High Schools. As director of the division, he was instrumental in the expansion of conservation education in Kentucky. He died in 1974.

Paulette Akers, director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation said, “The Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contest provides students a way to learn more about the water cycle and the importance of clean water. It is always wonderful to see how important the topic is to them and the suggestions they make.”

Schools and home school students should choose their winning entries and submit those to the local conservation district by Dec. 1. The county will then narrow the entries and send finalists to the cabinet for state judging.

Students can earn monetary prizes at the school, county, regional and state levels. County winners will receive $25 from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation. Area winners receive $50. State first, second and third place winners receive $250, $150 and $50 respectively. Many local conservation districts and other sponsors also provide prizes.

For more information about the contest, visit your local conservation district office or http://bit.ly/ClaypoolArtWritingContest.

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