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Who Speaks for the Trees?

Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan and 5th-grade artists will

Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan and Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Marian Honeczy look at entries of fifth-grade poster finalists.
       Yumi Hogan, artist and Maryland’s First Lady, looked carefully at each poster created by our state’s 10 fifth-grade finalists in honor of trees. The posters ranged from a wordless black-ink-and-rainbow-colored tree … to a tree in winter with a lone child on a swing hanging from one of its snow-covered branches … to many illustrating all that trees do for their fellow earth dwellers: photosynthesis, habitat, oxygen, shade and more. 
       “This is very good for children,” said Hogan, a teacher at the Maryland Institute College of Art, whose art focuses on nature. She, too, started making art as a child, she said, and appreciates the way the contest links creativity and the natural world. 
       The fifth-graders’ colorful buzz about trees comes at a critical time for forests in the state as the proposed Forest Conservation Act, which would strengthen outdated protections for ecologically important forests, again makes its way through the ­legislature.
     The Trees are Terrific … and Make Communities Healthy poster contest celebrates Arbor Day. It was created by The Arbor Day Foundation and is continued by Maryland Department of Natural Resources. District foresters choose the poster in their region that makes it to the final round. Those winners are invited to an Arbor Day celebration and tree-planting in early April. 
        Hogan was one of 15 judges choosing Annah Landry of Carroll County for first prize, Garrett Schlag of Talbot for second and Addison Souza of Queen Anne’s for third, winning 15, 10 and five trees for their schools.