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Contact: Cassie Carver, Communications Director , (651) 633-4987

Minnesota 's Fifth-Graders Encouraged to Participate in the 2006 Arbor Day National Poster Contest

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association and the National Arbor Day Foundation are joining forces to promote the importance of planting and caring for trees. All fifth-grade students in Minnesota are invited to showcase their artistic talents by creating posters reflecting the theme, “Trees are terrific…in All Shapes and Sizes!”

Teachers and homeschoolers in Minnesota can sign up by contacting Cassie Carver, the state's contest coordinator and the Communications Director for the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. Requests can be mailed to Carver at P.O. Box 130307 , St. Paul , MN 55113 , or by sending an e-mail to . Teachers will also receive free activity guides with in-depth lesson plans, hands-on activities, and contest information.

“Trees are an important commodity in Minnesota , and we need to share their value with younger generations,” says John Mickman, president of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. “This contest allows students to learn about the importance of trees and our state's green industry.”

All fifth-grade students in Minnesota are eligible to participate in the statewide poster competition, with the winner advancing to the national level. The deadline for state submission is February 24, 2006 . The Minnesota state winner will receive four unlimited ride wristbands to Camp Snoopy and two Valleyfair funtificates for free admission. In addition, MNLA will conduct an official tree-planting ceremony at the school of the state winner during Arbor Day week in April.

The national winner, two parents, and the teacher of the winning student will receive an expense-paid trip to Nebraska for the National Awards Weekend April 28-30. In addition, the national winner will receive a $1,000 savings bond and lifetime membership in The National Arbor Day Foundation. The winning teacher will receive $200 for classroom materials.

The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association is the state's largest green industry trade association with over 1,500 member businesses including garden centers; landscape contractors and designers; tree and flower growers; irrigation contractors; and lawn, tree, and garden services. Visit www.gardenminnesota.com to utilize the “locate an expert” feature and find nursery and landscape professionals in your circulation area.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship. Visit www.arborday.org for online learning opportunities and other educational materials, including lesson plans that correlate with National Science Standards.

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