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June 11, 2013 > Students get creative for "Habitat Means Home" poster contest

Students get creative for "Habitat Means Home" poster contest

Submitted By Howard High

Almost 300 elementary school students from Fremont, Newark, and Union City submitted posters in this year's "Habitat Means Home" poster contest. This is the 7th year the annual contest has been held. Top honors went to Akshara V., a 5th grader at Mission San Jose Elementary School; Ananya S., a 1st grader at Mattos Elementary School; and Desiree B., a 6th grader at Parkmont Elementary School.

Dozens of award winners, families, and friends gathered under clear blue skies at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont on May 18 as a multitude of cameras recorded the accomplishments of these students. All of the posters hung on the walls of the Coyote Hills visitor center and dignitaries such as Linda Canlas, President of the New Haven Unified School District Board of Education; Carin High, vice chairperson of the Citizen's Committee to Complete the Refuge; Kristina Parkinson, naturalist at Coyote Hills Regional Park; Evelyn Cormier, president of the Ohlone Audubon Society; and Dennis and Elaine Szeto of the local Friends of Coyote Hills environmental group greeted the winners while presenting them with special certificates from State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett.

The contest requires students to answer essay questions about the role and importance of habitat on the wildlife and environment, in addition to submitting artwork that captures the spirit of the outdoors.

"Students learn about the role of natural habitat in school, but may believe you need to travel to the arctic tundra or the rainforest to experience it first-hand. Through this contest, the three local sponsoring environmental groups hope that children learn there is important, diversified habitat right in their own backyard," explained Carin High, the contest's organizer. "We are blessed to have Don Edward's National Wildlife Refuge and Coyote Hills Regional Park here in the Tri-Cities to preserve our diverse natural habitat that provides a home to a wide range of birds and wildlife while also giving all of us to a place to escape from the pressures and stress of living in a urban environment."

The 1st place winner's school receives a $500 gift certificate to help improve the learning habitat at their school, while additional winners get prizes and gift certificates they can use at the Coyote Hills Regional Park gift store.

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