|SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County’s 2022 Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) Calendar is now available at county facilities while supplies last. The calendar is provided each year to build community awareness and introduce environmental and sustainability practices to elementary school-aged children. |
This year’s theme, “Bee Kind to the Environment,” challenged students to illustrate how bees can impact the health of our grasslands and waterways, and what bee-ing kind to the environment looks like to them. Students identified positive habits such as reducing chemical and fertilizer use, creating bee-friendly habitats, and replacing sod with native ground cover and plants.
Students are typically honored by the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners during a December board meeting proclamation. However, this year’s winners and their families submitted their own photos for a presentation to the board.
|Elementary school students in all public and private Sarasota County schools, including charter and home-schooled elementary students, were invited to participate.|
Chase Lanum, a fifth-grade student at Garden Elementary School, was selected from hundreds of entries as this year’s cover artist. The other winners, whose artwork is featured each month, were:
|January: Bees need flowers all year long. Artwork: Kyle Hynes, a second-grade student at Fruitville Elementary. |
February: Provide sunny areas for bees to warm up. Artwork: William “Quinn” Geisdorf, a first-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary.
March: All life needs clean water. Artwork: Kevin Slinko, a fourth-grade student at Pine View School.
April: Bees ensure the world’s ecosystems thrive. Artwork: Anna Droval, a fifth-grader at Pine View School.
May: Leave shallow trays with water and pebbles in your yard for bees to drink. Artwork: Cara Urzedowski, a third-grade student at Lakeview Elementary.
June: Replace sod with flowering native ground covers. Artwork: Ayla Rutherford, a first-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary.
July: Summer rains add nitrogen to the yard so skip the fertilizer and grow naturally. Artwork: Chyenne Pitts, a third-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary.
August: Bees are beautiful. Artwork: Lyla Dapra, a fifth-grade student at Sarasota Suncoast Academy.
September: More bee-friendly habitats make for cleaner water. Artwork: Anna Larsen, a fourth-grader at Laurel Nokomis School.
October: Bees give us delicious fruits and vegetables. Artwork: Hannah Askew, a kindergarten student at Tatum Ridge Elementary.
November: Build a home for bees. Isabella Wolfe, a second-grade student at Sarasota Suncoast Academy.
December: Protect bees for a healthy environment. Artwork: Varshini Ganesh, a fifth-grade student at Pine View School.
|According to NEST Coordinator Mollie Holland, this year’s theme reminds the community how we can continue to improve our natural areas and water quality by making small changes to our daily habits. |
Hundreds of drawings were submitted illustrating a variety of responsible habits and the winners did an amazing job of sharing pictures of their celebrations since an in-person reception could not be held, Holland said.
“These student artists did a really good job of representing how important bees are for the environment, and how community members can make everyday changes to help bees thrive,” she added.
The NEST calendar began in 2005 as a way to help students understand water quality and environmental improvements, terms, and practices at a young age.
For more information on the NEST calendar, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit scgov.net.
|Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords: ADA compliance).|