There will soon be some unusual billboards spotted around Clay County. Winning posters of the first Earth Day Billboard Poster Contest will be displayed on various billboards within a week or two.
Sponsored by the Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste Management District, the contest was for all Clay County students K through 12.
"The purpose of the poster contest was for public awareness," said Executive Director Janet Reed. "We wanted to promote Earth Day, which is April 22, and we wanted to get our students involved."
The students, from Clay, Vigo and Owen Counties, were to illustrate their theme by creating a color poster using any medium, on an 8.5 inch by 11 inch piece of paper.
The categories were: Litter Prevention, Waste Reduction, Celebrating Earth Day on Your Block, Turning Trash Into Treasures, Celebrating Earth Day Everyday and Endangered Species.
One winner was to be chosen from each of four grade groupings: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. With little participation at the high school level, the more than a thousand entries from the lower grades produced some ties. Clay County had six winners.
Those winners were: Cornerstone Christian Academy, 5th grader Hannah Stewart, 1st grader Kirsten Weddle and Caleb McGinty from Kindergarten. A Van Buren Elementary winner was 5th grader Jonathan Bradshaw. North Clay Middle School had two winners: Ashley Higginbotham and Olivia Herron, both in the 6th grade.
Kirsten Weddle did her poster in the Celebrating Earth Day Everyday category. Her poster depicted a pretty day with sunshine, a tree and squirrels. Plus there was an egg cracking open with a skunk observing.
When asked to interpret her poster Kirsten explained. "When the chick was going to come out, the skunk was going to hurt it. But the momma was going to save it."
Ashley Higginbotham chose the endangered species category.
"Some of the animals that are endangered, I really, really like," Ashley said. "I don't want to lose them, like the African Elephant and the ostrich."
Olivia Herron, a cat lover, also chose the endangered species theme. "I love cats like tigers and cougars," Olivia said. "I want my kids to be able to see these animals."
Jonathan Bradshaw did his poster on Litter Prevention. His poster read, "If you don't obey, you pay."
"I've seen a lot of litter," Jonathan said. "It needs picked up and people need to stop."
The poster artwork billboards will decorate the community for approximately one month.