Theme is Bee Kind to the Environment
Sarasota County’s 2022 Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) calendar has been made available at county facilities, “while supplies last,” county staff has announced.
The calendar is created each year “to build community awareness and introduce environmental and sustainability practices to elementary school-aged children,” a news release explains.
“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,” the release adds. “Students identified positive habits such as reducing chemical and fertilizer use, creating bee-friendly habitats, and replacing sod with native ground cover and plants.”
Typically, the Sarasota County Commission honors the students whose artwork has been chosen for the calendar, presenting them with a proclamation during a December board meeting, the release points out. “However, this year’s winners and their families submitted their own photos for a presentation to the board,” the release says.
Elementary school students in all public and private Sarasota County schools, including charter and home-schooled elementary students, were invited to participate in the NEST initiative, the release notes.
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 as follows:
• January — Bees need flowers all year long; artwork by Kyle Hynes, a second-grade student at Fruitville Elementary.
• February — Provide sunny areas for bees to warm up; artwork by William “Quinn” Geisdorf, a first-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary.
• March — All life needs clean water; artwork by Kevin Slinko, a fourth-grade student at Pine View School.
• April — Bees ensure the world’s ecosystems thrive; artwork by 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 by Cara Urzedowski, a third-grade student at Lakeview Elementary.
• June — Replace sod with flowering native ground covers; artwork by 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 by Chyenne Pitts, a third-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary.
• August — Bees are beautiful; artwork by Lyla Dapra, a fifth-grade student at Sarasota Suncoast Academy.
• September — More bee-friendly habitats make for cleaner water; artwork by Anna Larsen, a fourth-grader at Laurel Nokomis School.
• October —Bees give us delicious fruits and vegetables; artwork by Hannah Askew, a kindergarten student at Tatum Ridge Elementary.
• November — Build a home for bees; artwork by Isabella Wolfe, a second-grade student at Sarasota Suncoast Academy.
• December — Protect bees for a healthy environment; artwork by Varshini Ganesh, a fifth-grade student at Pine View School.
NEST Coordinator Mollie Holland said in the release that this year’s theme reminds members of the community that they can continue to improve the county’s natural areas and water quality by making small changes to their daily habits.
Hundreds of drawings were submitted for the competition this year, illustrating a variety of responsible habits, the release adds.
Further, Holland noted in the release that the winners “did an amazing job of sharing pictures of their celebrations since an in-person reception could not be held.”
“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 initiative began in 2005 as a means “to help students understand water quality and environmental improvements, terms, and practices at a young age,” the release explains.
For more information on the NEST calendar, call the county Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit scgov.net