City Honors Student Water Works Of Art
Poetry, Poster Prizes At Ceremony
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland joined the New York Mets last Wednesday, June 6, to host an awards ceremony for the 26th Annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest at Citi Field.
More than 700 students in grades two through 12 from New York City and watershed communities were honored for creating original artwork and composing poetry that reflects an appreciation for New York’s water resources, wastewater treatment system and the importance of water conservation.
The artwork and poems were displayed on the stadium’s large outfield screens as well as on monitors throughout the stadium. In addition, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg issued a proclamation honoring all of the students who participated.
“For 26 consecutive years, students who participate in the Water Resource Art and Poetry Contest have used their creative energy to show their appreciation for one of New York City’s most precious resources: its renowned supply of drinking water,” said Strickland. “This contest provides students with a great opportunity to learn about the amazing systems that supply more than nine million people with world class water, and helps us raise awareness about the importance of maintaining our water supply and wastewater treatment systems so that future generations will continue to enjoy New York City water.”
The award ceremony included a speech by Eric Saretsky, vice president of Queens Ballpark Company, the agency that developed and manages Citi Field. Saretsky spoke to students about the importance of green infrastructure in managing stormwater and water consumption at the stadium.
Artist Nung-Hsin Hu also spoke about poetic and artistic expressions to highlight water conservation. In addition, many students were selected to read their poetry and discussed their artwork.
Students from more than 50 schools participated in this year’s Water Resource Art and Poetry Contest. From the more than 700 submissions, a group of judges selected 37 winners to be this year’s Water Champions. Strickland presented the 37 Water Champions with certificates of recognition during the ceremony, and each student who participated in the contest also received a certificate recognizing their contribution.
The DEP’s Water Resources Art and Poetry program helps raise awareness about the importance of clean, high-quality drinking water, and what it takes to maintain New York City’s water supply and wastewater treatment systems. The ceremony recognized the student’s creative work expression of four central themes:
• Water—A Precious Resource: To highlight the importance of the quality of our tap and harbor water.
• The New York City Water Supply System: To look at the history of the NYC drinking water system.
• The New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine how the City treats more than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
• Water Stewardship: What Can I do to Help to Conserve Water? To bring attention to the value of water and ways to conserve, and the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan as a way to manage stormwater for cleaner NYC harbor water.
This year’s Water Champions for art and poetry included Alexander Castillo of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School in Forest Hills (Grades 4- 5 Art category), Sithi Rukaiyaa Arssath of P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights (Grades 4-5 Poetry), Gabriel Mompalao of M.S. 141 in Astoria (Grades 6-7 Art), Shafqat Shadaab of M.S. 141 (Grades 6-7 Poetry), Shamila Faria of Townsend Harris High School in Flushing (Grades 8-9 Poetry), Anita Suvasia of Townsend Harris (Grades 10-12 Art) and Daniel Domingues of Townsend Harris and Zhenquiang Wang of Flushing International High School (Grades 10-12 Poetry).
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