Douglas County students recently earned recognition for snappy slogans and colorful artwork targeting invasive species.

A total of 16 Wisconsin schools participated in the 2020 Northwoods’ Invasive Species Poster Contest hosted by the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department, and 193 posters were submitted. The contest encourages youth to create posters that educate about the harmful impacts of invasive species.

Students from Northwestern Middle School and Solon Springs School were among the participants. They had until June 1 to submit their posters.

Northwestern Middle School students snagged top honors in the sixth-grade poster contest. Haven Darwin earned first place and Elizabeth Powell took second. Fellow Northwestern sixth grader Liberty Bates earned honorable mention.

A poster by Northwestern Middle School sixth grader Haven Darwin targeting common Buckthorn earned first place in the 2020 Northwoods’ Invasive Species Poster Contest. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Vande Voort)
A poster by Northwestern Middle School sixth grader Haven Darwin targeting common Buckthorn earned first place in the 2020 Northwoods’ Invasive Species Poster Contest. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Vande Voort)

Solon Springs sixth graders Kendall Reese Nelson and Gretchyn Hackensmith earned honorable mentions for their posters, as did seventh graders Paetyn Simenson and Cade Lisson of Solon Springs.

In addition to the poster contest, judges selected the most creative slogans. The winning sixth grade slogans were “Don’t be Daft, Please Clean Your Watercraft,” by Elizabeth Powell from Northwestern Middle School and “Yellow Iris Spreads Like a Virus” by Isaiah Ahlberg from Solon Springs School.

Ashley Vande Voort, land conservationist with the Douglas County Land and Water Conservation Department, said staff appreciated local educators teaching the importance of preventing the spread of invasive species. They also appreciated the creativity the students used to share their knowledge with northern Wisconsin.