We Get Kids THINKING About Trees

Arbor Day Poster Contest

Indiana Arbor Day

Poster Contest

Is Your Community Planning Ahead for Arbor Day 2019?

Happy Arbor Day!

Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in the month of April in Indiana

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest Suspended Indefinitely

Sadly, it has come to our attention that Indiana’s DNR Community & Urban Forestry division will not be able to run the Arbor Day poster contest this year. Unfortunately, this news came too late for Arbor Rangers to pull together a plan and bolster enough resources and volunteers to be able to run the contest ourselves. We are looking into possibly organizing and managing the contest for 2020. We are sorry for any teachers, students, and their parents who looked forward to the regular contest this year and are disappointed by the cancellation. We strongly encourage you to still participate in an Arbor Day celebration in some way, like planting a tree, creating a poem, and volunteering in a related local event. Have a Happy Arbor Day!


2018 Arbor Day Poster Contest Theme:

Trees Are Terrific in Every Shape and Size!


Resource links

  • Native Trees of Indiana: Sandy loves trees and she’s made a list of the diverse native tree species in Indiana with fun facts, such as type, mature height, fall color, etc., plus additional resource links including our USDA Plant Hardiness Zones Maps for Indiana and counties.
  • Indiana Arbor Day: Resource page provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) which includes video instructions on planting trees, an Arbor Day Teacher’s Guide and more!
  • Project Learning Tree: This site offers lesson plans and activities for all ages that can be easily incorporated into existing curriculum or used in informal settings. Checkout the STEM: Tree Life Cycle activity.
  • Teachers’ Guide to Arbor Month: include activities on trees and the natural world for Grades K-8.
  • How to Plant a Tree links of educational videos and publications by Lindsey Purcell  (Urban Forest Specialist at Purdue Extension) and also see How To Properly Plant A Tree video by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.
  • The Morton Arboretum: Resources for Educators including Arbor Day in the Classroom and Vanishing Acts Teacher’s Guide. Also check out Urban Forestry Laboratory Exercises, a publication developed by the Morton Arboretum in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service North Central Forest Experiment Station and the Natural Resources Conservation Education Program.
  • I-Tree Lessons: Use the tools urban foresters are using around the world to calculate the benefits of community trees with developed lesson plans that are standards based.
  • The American Public Gardens Association: Be a Plant Hero! Detect and combat bugs and diseases that harm plants and ecosystem health. Lots of puzzles, games and comics!
  • Urban Tree Care: From The Education Store of Purdue Extension you can download many fact sheets with helpful advice concerning challenges in caring for and maintaining trees in our urban environment. (Related link: Pest Management – Flower, Tree, Ornamental Pests)
  • Hardwood Lumber & Veneer Series: Also from The Education Store of Purdue Extension you can download free fact sheets containing details of several important tree species used for wood products, including color & texture characteristics, commercial use, grading and value.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees.

Be sure to check out the other helpful links found on our Teacher and Parent Resources page!

Past Indiana Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners

2018 Indiana Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Maks Cucuz Grimmer Middle School Schererville, IN Teacher: Kristin Duncan
  • 2nd Place: Lauren Summerville Hebron Elementary School Valparaiso, IN Teacher: Alyssa Hildebrandt
  • 3rd Place: Alivia Bushman Central Elementary School Lawrenceburg, IN Teacher: Miss Erin Soller

2017 Indiana Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Ana Arreola, and her Teacher, Mallory Paswater, of South Decatur Elementary, Greensburg, IN
  • 2nd Place: Travis Glossenger, and his Teacher, Tracy Hand, of Chrichfield Elementary, La Porte, IN
  • 3rd Place: Olivia Link, and her Teacher, Kullen Day, of Eastern Pulaski Elementary, Winamac, IN

2016 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Victoria Grant, and her Art Teacher, Katy Lewis, of Western Intermediate School, Russiaville, IN
  • 2nd Place: Marissa Giles, and her Teacher, Lisa Schlegel, of Childs Elementary, Bloomington, IN
  • 3rd Place: Karlee Reedy, and her Teacher, Melissa Newman, of Meadows Elementary, Terre Haute, IN

2015 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Heidi Kane and her teacher at Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School, Harrison, IN
  • 2nd Place: Caroline Niewiadomski and her Teacher, Kullen Day, of Eastern Pulaski Elementary School, Winamac, IN
  • 3rd Place: Saniyah Jones and her teacher at Paramount School of Excellence, Indianapolis, IN

2014 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Osighe Akpeokhai and his Teacher, Laura Salee, of Andrew J. Brown Academy, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2nd Place: Haleigh Wright and her Teacher, Abby Dorgan, of Kouts Elementary School, Kouts, IN
  • 3rd Place: Kendle Richards and her Teacher, Michelle Hardwick, of Unionville Elementary School, Unionville, IN

Runner-up Winners of the IUFC Facebook “FAN’S CHOICE” Contest

  • Paige Jones and her Teacher, Lydia Weber, of Lincoln Elementary School, Bedford, IN
  • Ethan Campbell and his Teacher, Jean Schmeltzer, Sunman Dearborn Intermediate School, West Harrison, IN
  • Breanna Cory and her Teacher, Danielle Eccles, North White Elementary School, Monon, IN

2013 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Samantha Engel and her Teacher, Jean Schmeltzer, of West Harrison, IN
  • 2nd Place: Emy Li and her Teacher, Linda Steppe, of Terre Haute, IN
  • 3rd Place: Sophia Wesseler and her Teacher, Beth Emsweller, of Batesville, IN

Runner-up Winners of the IUFC Facebook “FAN’S CHOICE” Contest

  • Carly Kane and her Teacher, Jean Schmeltzer, of Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School, West Harrison, IN
  • Macey Raidenheimer and her Teacher, Jane Brack, of St. Lawrence School, Lawrenceburg, IN
  • Taylor Jennings and her Teacher, Kullen Day, of Eastern Pulaski Elementary School, Winamac, IN

2012 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest State Winners

  • 1st Place: Kyle Bickel and his Teacher, Susan Lombard, of Highland Elementary School, Evansville, IN
  • 2nd Place: Emily Koch and her Teacher, Beth Emsweller, of St. Louis School, Batesville, IN
  • 3rd Place: Madison Fulton and her Teacher, Jane Brack, of St. Lawrence School, Lawrenceburg, IN

HISTORY of the Indiana Arbor Day Poster Contest (Since 2009)

In 2009, Arbor Rangers, LLC became involved with efforts to support the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) celebration of Arbor Day by volunteering time with the Indiana Urban Forest Council (IUFC) and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to promote it during spring and summer events held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Sadly, and to the disappointment of many Hoosier educators, the ADF made the decision to discontinue their national Arbor Day poster contest in 2010. In doing so, they freely made their poster contest lesson plans available and encouraged each state to conduct poster contests on their own.

A year lapsed, but in 2011, Ashley Mulis (then Executive Director of IUFC) who had formerly been the State Coordinator for the ADF poster contest in Indiana, made the decision with the approval of the IUFC Board of Directors to sponsor an Arbor Day poster contest directly through their organization. It was shortly thereafter that she extended an invitation to Jeff Harris (CEO of Arbor Rangers, LLC) to participate into making this a reality and he eagerly came on board!

Jeff speaks to Evansville students

Jeff Harris speaks to Highland Elementary School students in Evansville

By the spring of 2012, the IUFC successfully launched its first state-wide Arbor Day poster contest and it remained an annual event maintained by steadfast volunteers for the following 4 years.

Jane Brack and Jeff Harris honor Madison Fulton in Lawrenceburg

Jane Brack and Jeff Harris honor Madison Fulton of St. Lawrence School in Lawrenceburg

Jeff Harris and Osighe Akpeokhai in Indianapolis

Jeff Harris with Osighe Akpeokhai at a school art show in Indianapolis

Jeff passed the torch on to a new chair for the 2015 poster contest, but has continued to render assistance when possible towards the success of the Indiana Arbor Day Poster Contest. Many thanks to Holly Jones (former Executive Director of IUFC) and the volunteer efforts of Aren Flint (Davey Resource Group) and Molly Wilson (Keep Indianapolis Beautiful) for their incredible efforts to keep the annual contest running.

The statewide Arbor Day Poster Contest continues its annual tradition! Starting with the 2017 poster contest, the capable hands of Carrie Tauscher (State Community & Urban Forestry (CUF) Coordinator) with the assistance of some pretty incredible individuals new and old have taken the reins to do even greater things to promote urban forestry with this fun outreach program!

Happy Arbor Day, Indiana!

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