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For Release: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

DEC Announces Annual Arbor Day Poster and Artwork Contests

State Accepting Poster Submissions from New York Fifth Graders through Dec. 20

State Accepting Artwork Submissions through Dec. 31

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of DEC's annual State Arbor Day poster contests. Each year, DEC's Urban and Community Forestry program offers two artwork contests for New Yorkers-one for all members of the public, and one specifically for fifth-grade students. Both contests aim to promote the immeasurable value of trees in the environment and New Yorkers' lives.

"Trees provide so many benefits, from energy reduction and carbon sequestration, to wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation across the state," Commissioner Seggos said. "I encourage all New Yorkers to join our celebration of trees with these contests and submit art or photos that depict the beauty and importance of New York's trees."

Contest winners will have their artwork replicated as either the 2020 New York State 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster or the 2020 New York State Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster. The winning artists will be announced and honored at the annual Arbor Day celebration, held in Albany in April. Last year, New York printed more than 200,000 Arbor Day posters for distribution at schools, libraries, government offices, nursery and landscaping businesses, and environmental organizations throughout the State.

5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest

The annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest is sponsored by DEC, the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM), and the New York State Education Department. Students are asked to create an original poster depicting this year's contest theme, "Trees Feed New York."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York State is home to nearly 19 million acres of forested land, and trees enhance our quality of life in countless ways-from the sap we use to make maple syrup, to the scenic beauty New Yorkers enjoy while traveling, hiking, gardening, or farming. The Arbor Day poster contest is a great way to celebrate our forests and trees and remind New Yorkers how much this natural resource contributes to our daily lives."

Lesson plans, vocabulary, and activities for incorporating the theme in New York's classrooms are available on the poster contest website. The contest is open to all students enrolled in fifth grade. DEC encourages schools to submit classes together. Homeschool students are also welcome to submit artwork. Posters must be submitted to the participant's local DEC regional office by Dec. 20, 2019, to allow time for judging and printing artwork.

Promote Arbor Day with Your Artwork

The New York State Arbor Day Committee includes DEC, the Empire State Forest Foundation, New York State Arborist Association, DAM, and the International Paper Company.

DEC will accept photograph and artwork submissions for the New York State Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster on behalf of the committee through Dec. 31, 2019. Original entries must feature trees within New York State and should be sent to Participants must include their name, address, and where the photo was taken with submissions. Model consent forms are required for people in submitted photos. For more information about the contest, visit DEC's website or email

To obtain past New York State Arbor Day posters, contact any local DEC forestry office or call 518-402-9428.

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