Bennington Conservation Commission seeks student submissions for Earth Day sign contest

By ROWAN WILSON

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-31-2023 1:35 PM

It’s the last call for Bennington Conservation Commission’s Earth Day Sign Competition, as participating students need to turn in entries by Friday, April 7. 

This is the fourth annual sign competition, which invites Bennington students, kindergarten through 12th grade, to create a sign design and slogan centered around an environmental theme. This year the theme is “The River Runs Through It,” which Conservation Commission Chair Mike Munhall said is in reference to the Contoocook River, which runs through Bennington. Munhall said he hopes the theme will get students thinking about how the the town can work to keep the river clean and the animals who live in and around the river healthy.

The Conservation Commission will announce the winner on Saturday, April 22, at its Earth Day breakfast before the townwide cleanup event. Munhall also said all participating students will get a gift certificate for a free ice cream at Tenney Farm in Antrim.

“It’s a way for kids in town to think about Earth Day and what it means to Bennington,” said Munhall. 

The sign competition was started in 2020, the first year Bennington didn’t hold its annual roadside cleanup due to COVID.

“But we wanted to do something, so we didn’t lose the drive of Earth Day,” Munhall said.

Every year, they’ve gotten more participants and now that the roadside cleanup is back on, they decided to keep running the contest. 

Munhall said like the Earth Day cleanup, the competition brings the community together.

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“We go through this life individually but we also rely on the collective group of people around us,” he said. “If you don’t take care of the environment, then what’s left? We have to care.”

And he said talking about the environment with children is essential, and many students are well aware of issues related to the environment and climate change. The theme this year addresses the fact that rivers are getting warmer, including the Contoocook, which will affect fish and bird populations and the people who live in town.

Signs can be turned in to fourth-grade teacher Val Germain at Pierce Elementary School or the Town Hall. Information about the competition can be found at townofbennington.com/conservationcommission.

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