Third-grade students at Tortuga Preserve Elementary School show a passion for water conservation and environmental education.
The school recently participated in an environmental education program hosted by East County Water Control District (ECWCD). The project, Clean Water, Clear Conscience Rain Barrel Design Contest, helps students in Lehigh Acres learn about the importance of water conservation.
The third-graders at the school just finished studying the water cycle and participated in ECWCD's lesson on water quality, water conservation and pollution prevention. Students were then asked to share what they learned through an art project.
The artwork was submitted in the Rain Barrel Design contest.
"We constantly are searching for new and creative ways increase environmental education, promote conservation and create stewards for our local environment," said David E. Lindsay, ECWCD district manager. "The Rain Barrel Design Competition is one way to get our youngest generation involved."
The first phase allows for one drawing to be selected from each classroom as the best overall based on which designs best promote pollution preventions, water conservation and show the students as stewards of the environment.
Creativity, messaging and artistic quality were also considered.
First round winners of the Clean Water, Clear Conscience rain barrel design winners were: Kayley Gonzalez, Jason Lynn, Willow Thompson, Jake Anders and Joceline Feliciano.
The second phase of the competition called for the students to work together and paint the selected image on a rain barrel. These barrels were then were judged by ECWCD staff and Commissioner David Deetscreek based on creativity and message.
"It is truly wonderful to see the creativity of our community's youth, and to know that ECWCD is able to help further their education in a fun creative way," Deetscreek said.
During a special award ceremony, ECWCD presented Tortuga Preserve Elementary School with an Environmental Stewardship Award and announced the winner of the rain barrel design contest.
Lacie Brock's class won the Rain Barrel Design Contest with the drawing of Joceline Feliciano. Joceline was awarded the Artist of the Year and the entire class will receive a pizza party donated by Domino's Pizza.
The elementary school will used the rain barrels as part of a garden project