Sixth-Grader Wins First Place In Clean Air Poster Contest

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With the number of COVID cases going down, vaccinations going up and weather warming, Marylanders have a perfect recipe for a joyful summer. The hopefulness can be seen on the smiles of many families' faces as they flock to Kinder Farm Park’s sports complex. Because that's what summer is looking like - hopeful.

Surprisingly, on May 20, an orange air quality alert was released from the National Weather Service for 12 counties in Maryland, along with Baltimore City. An orange code means that air pollution concentrations may be hazardous for children, people with lung disease, asthma, heart disease, and older adults. This was the first time this year that an air quality code has been given in Anne Arundel County.

One ambitious girl is trying to help prevent future air quality codes by reminding others what they can do to improve the air quality. Destiny Hope Felder, a sixth-grader at Severna Park Middle School, recently won first place in the Clean Air Partners poster contest for category 1 (grades four through six). The contest was for students grades four through eight in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to submit a creative poster that highlights solutions to air pollution and climate change. The goal of the posters is to inspire people to take actions to improve the region’s air quality. To encourage participants, the first-place winners in both categories were rewarded $150 Amazon gift cards.

Destiny’s creative poster reflects not only the air but also a beloved water symbol.

“I always liked how doves represent hope, and one surprising thing I learned when researching air pollution is how much of it causes water pollution too,” she said. “I didn’t know that. So I wanted to create something that would both represent air and sea, as well as hope.”

Clean Air Partners has been around for over 20 years and its goal is to empower individuals and organizations to take simple actions to reduce pollution and protect public health. The poster contest is just one of many ways they help to accomplish this goal. To view several of the creative posters submitted for the Clean Air Partners poster contest, go to the Twitter account @CleanAirPartner. For more information about Clean Air Partners and to learn more about what you can do to help prevent air pollution, go to www.cleanairpartners.net.

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