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Earth Day “Help Keep Good Bugs in the Garden” Poster Contest Winners to Be Displayed at Castro Valley Library 4/28–5/29, 2023.

Four elementary school students from Unincorporated Alameda County won prizes for their outstanding entries in the “Help Keep Good Bugs in the Garden” Earth Day poster contest. The contest was open to all 3rd and 4th graders in Unincorporated Alameda County and sponsored by the Alameda County Unincorporated Area Clean Water Program.

The top four prize-winning posters, two each from 3rd and 4th grades, will be displayed at the Castro Valley Library at 3600 Norbridge Ave, Castro Valley, CA 94546 from April 28th–May 29th.

To enter the contest, participating teachers held a brief classroom lesson on using less toxic ways to deal with weeds and pests and keeping good bugs in the garden. They also showed a video starring Clean Water Program mascots Fred Frog and Izzy Egret. Titled “Fred’s Healthy Garden Getaway” the video spot is available for viewing on YouTube. Students then creatively expressed what they learned in their artwork.

“Pesticides are one of several ways the health of our local waterways, such as Castro Valley and San Lorenzo creeks, is threatened,” says Allison Rodacker, the Clean Water Program representative for Unincorporated Alameda County. “Helping kids understand the connection between their neighborhoods and local water and wildlife can help reduce pesticide use that can harm helpful garden bugs and pollute the waterways.”

The contest received over 100 creative entries prompting the organizers to include more prize winners. Instead of only one winner per grade, they awarded the top two entries in 3rd and 4th grades with prizes, and the top 10 entries received certificates. Winners received a Hydroflask reusable water bottle and a spiral notebook with the student’s artwork printed on the cover.

Six classrooms submitted entries from every student and were entered into a raffle. Two classrooms were awarded a $100 Amazon gift card each. All winning posters will be displayed at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, CA 94546 from April 28th – May 29th.

Classroom Amazon Gift Card Raffle Winners

Erin Kundert, 3rd grade teacher, Marshall Elementary School
Kim Fisher Hayes, 3rd grade teacher, Dayton Elementary School

When people use pesticides in the garden, those chemicals can wash into gutters and storm drains with water from garden hoses, sprinklers, and rainfall. From there, the polluted water flows untreated into local creeks, and the San Francisco Bay, where it harms fish and other wildlife. Each spring, the Alameda County Unincorporated Clean Water Program reminds residents how important it is to use non-toxic methods to control unwanted pests. “Keep Good Bugs in the Garden,” to do that job for you!

For more information, visit www.cleanwaterprogram.org

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