5th Grader Places 2nd in Statewide Poster Contest

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- It was a big day for a little girl at Monte Sano Elementary School today. Leah Bledsoe is in the 5th grade at Monte Sano. She entered her poster into the Arbor Day Poster Contest and place 2nd out of all the entries.

"This is huge," says Denise Taylor. "Out of all the posters statewide in Alabama, her poster placed second in the state." Taylor is a representative with Operation Green Team. She says these types of contests help expose kids to nature at a young age.

'It sets an interest for them for life, plants the seed for them for taking care of the environment," said Taylor. "And then they take it from there, from being interested in maybe trees or nature, water quality, recycling, it just plants that seed for a lifetime of interest and taking care of the environment."

Leah says she worked on her poster for several week sand used a variety of mediums including watercolors and colored pencils. She said she was inspired by the trees in her own front yard.

"I wanted to make it show how it's really important not just to look at trees and think them but to plant them and help them grow," said Bledsoe.

Leah's Arbor Day poster won her a trip to Montgomery next week, where she will get to plant her very own tree with Alabama's First Lady Dianne Bentley. Her winning poster continues a strong tradition in the Rocket City.

"In Huntsville, almost 600 students turned in a poster for the contest and Huntsville has a history of winning," said Taylor. "This is the 13th consecutive year that a student from Huntsville has placed in the state contest."

There were also other big winners at Monte Sano today. Henry Stephens, Erin Shelton, and Ella Stanley were awarded the top posters out of all the entries from the elementary school and they received certificates for their hard work.