11 2nd Ave N, Unit 103  |  Sauk Rapids, MN  56379
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natasha@saukherald.com

   FOLEY — Every spring the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) sponsors a variety of conservation contests. There is a conservation coloring contest for kindergarten through fourth grade; and fifth and sixth grades can get involved with the poster, mural and essay contests.
   Hundreds of students in Benton County composed and submitted entries with this years’ theme “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life.” Benton SWCD also offers a photo contest that judge photos based on if the photo is well-framed, sharp and clear.
   This year 512 coloring sheets, 506 poster, 42 murals, 71 essays, and 48 photos entries were submitted. Over $1,000 worth of prize money was issued to winning students and teachers.
   The purpose of the contest is to engage students in learning about the environment by creating awareness about current natural resource issues and concerns. The teachers and Benton SWCD staff educate the students about why they should use their natural resources wisely and how they can take action and address issues to preserve our natural resources

​Benton County Area winners are:
1st Place Poster – Lauren Barthelemy, Foley Intermediate School, 6th Grade, Mrs. Wruck
2nd Place Poster – Brandt Andres, St. Katherine Drexel School 6th Grade, Mr. Schmit
3rd Place Poster – Avery Loidolt, Foley Intermediate School, 5th Grade, Mrs. Theis
4th Place Poster – Kyle Mohs, Foley Intermediate School, 6th Grade, Mr. Helmin

1st Place Mural – Ava Athman, Delia Gustofson, & Jordyn Lee, Pleasantview Elementary 5th Grade, Mr. Hiedeman
2nd Place Mural – Tommy Carlson, Foley Intermediate School, 6th Grade, Mrs. Bommerbach
3rd Place Mural – Lucy Brenny & Grace Kitzmann, Pleasantview Elementary 5th Grade, Ms. Strack

1st Place Essay – Brittany Mellgren, Foley Intermediate School 6th Grade, Mrs. Schmidt
2nd Place Essay – Rylan Robinson, Mississippi Heights, 5th Grade, Mrs. Zeilenga
3rd Place Essay – Kaya Schneider, Pleasantview Elementary 5th Grade, Mr. Pakkala
4th Place Essay – Annabelle Anderson, St. John’s Area School 6th Grade, Mrs. VanNevel

Group A Photo (5th – 8th Grade)
1st Place Photo – Owen Wilson, Foley Intermediate School 6th Grade, Mrs. Wruck
2nd Place Photo – Cassidy Zeilenga, Mississippi Heights, 5th Grade, Mrs. Zeilenga
3rd Place Photo – Megan Trigg, Foley Intermediate School 6th Grade, Mrs. Bommersbach

Group B Photo (9th – 12th Grade)
1st Place Photo – Kolby Beehler, Foley High School, 11th Grade, Mr. Stemper
2nd Place Photo – Rainy Beehler, Foley High School, 11th Grade, Mr. Stemper
3rd Place Photo – Trevor Sunder, Sauk Rapids/Rice High School 10th Grade, Mrs. Schlangen

Group A Coloring - Kindergarten
1st Place – Anya Craven, St. Katherine Drexel School, Mrs. Opitz
2nd Place – Weston Frisbie, St. Katherine Drexel School, Mrs. Waldoch
3rd Place – Jordyn Harren, Foley Elementary School, Mrs. Sweeter

Group B Coloring – 1st & 2nd Grade
1st Place – Benjamin Forsting, Rice Elementary School, Mrs. Konsor
2nd Place – Karina Travis, Pleasantview Elementary School, Mrs. Brewster
3rd Place – Kylie Storkamp, Foley Elementary School, Mrs. Arnold

Group C Coloring – 3rd & 4th Grade
1st Place – Josi Pozoski, Foley Intermediate School, Mrs. Kadlec
2nd Place – Keagon Frisbie, Foley Intermediate School, Mr. Kotsmith
3rd Place – Kylee Greener, Rice Elementary School, Mrs. Johnson

The top three posters and top three murals will advance and be judged at the Area 2 MASWCD meeting in June were they will compete against 11 other counties for the top three posters and top three murals. More information about the contests and the winners can be found on the SWCD’s website at http://www.soilandwater.org.

Photo submitted

Benjamin Forsting — standing with (back, from left) Benton SWCD technician Nathan Sanoski, board member Phil Grosland and Rice Elementary teacher Mrs. Konsor — received first place in Group B of the Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District coloring contest

Photo submitted

Benton SWCD Nathan Sanoski (back, left) stands with Mississippi Heights Sue Paasch (far right) and winners Lindsey Morgan (front, from left) and Rylan Robinson; (back, from left) Joani Fautsch, Megan Hillmer, Cassidy Zeilenga and Elisabeth Wood. 

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Benton County students receive awards

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Photo submitted

Left to right: Benton SWCD winners Matthew Jegers (from left), Delia Gustofson, Jordyn and  Ava Athman stand with district technician Nathan Sanoski (right) and Pleasantiew Elementary teacher Mr. Heidemann.