The Wake Forest Urban Forestry Board (UFB) recognized its 2011 Green Medal Award and Arbor Day Poster Contest winners during its annual Arbor Day celebration on March 17.

Green Medal Awards recognize individuals, civics clubs, and businesses who work to promote Wake Forest’s urban forest. This year’s honorees were John Patterson (Community Forester) and Pine Forest Memorial Gardens (Corporate).

The UFB also sponsors an annual Arbor Day Poster Contest whereby participants design a poster that reflects their knowledge of a theme presented by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This year over 60 students in Wake Forest’s elementary schools submitted posters related to the theme “Trees are Terrific…In All Shapes and Sizes.”

Poster contest winners for 2011 were Calvin Nguyen, a fifth grader at North Forest Pines Elementary School, who won the top prize for “Best Picture and State Entry”; Natalie Rouse, a fifth grader at North Forest Pines Elementary School, for “Best Picture, Honorable Mention”; Katherine Panebianco, a first grader at St. Catherine of Siena Elementary School, for “Most Creative”; and Chloe Neunsinger, a fifth grader at Hunter Elementary School, for “Most Creative, Honorable Mention.”

All of the winners received award certificates and Series EE Savings Bonds. As a bonus for Nguyen, his drawing appears as the illustration on this year Arbor Day T-shirt and coffee mug. Jennifer Rall, N.C. Division of Forest Resources, who presented the Town with its 32nd consecutive Tree City USA award, also announced that Nguyen placed third in the state poster competition.

First graders from Heritage Elementary School, under the direction of Barina Blackwelder, provided the program entertainment by performing several musical numbers.

For more information about Wake Forest’s urban forestry program, contact Planning Director Chip Russell at (919) 435-9511or

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