Elementary-age Sarasota County students honored for artwork being showcased in 2018 NEST Calendar

Submissions reflect the theme Seagrass Keeps the Bay Alive

The 2018 NEST Calendar is available at Sarasota County facilities. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County’s 2018 Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) Calendar has been made available at county facilities, while supplies last, the county has announced.

Each year, the NEST produces the calendar, “which supports the county’s goal of environmental stewardship,” a news release explains. “It cultivates a strong conservation ethic in the community’s youth and adults,” the release adds.

The theme of the 2018 calendar is Seagrass Keeps the Bay Alive. In artwork, students “were asked to convey that what we do on our lands and in our homes has a direct impact on the health of our beautiful bays and beaches,” the release says.

On Dec. 13, the Sarasota County Commission honored students from schools across Sarasota County for their submissions. During a breakfast ceremony prior to the start of the board meeting, commissioners signed each winning student’s calendar, the release notes.

Elementary school students in all public and private Sarasota County schools, including charter schools — along with elementary-age, home-schooled students — were invited to participate in the creation of the 2018 calendar, the release says.

The artwork of Drew Kimball, a fifth-grader at Pine View School, was selected from the hundreds of entries as this year’s cover winner, the release notes. The other winners whose artwork will be featured are as follows:

  • January: Eva Brock, a fifth-grade student at Island Village Montessori School.
  • February: Chase Lanum, a first-grade student at Garden Elementary School.
  • March: Lana Tran, a third-grade student at St. Martha Catholic School.
  • April: Selena Shen, a third-grade student at Pine View School
  • May: Daniel Palacio, a fourth-grade student at Ashton Elementary School.
  • June: Bowdy Paver, a fourth-grade student at Englewood Elementary School.
  • July: Irina Kazakova, a second-grade student at Glenallen Elementary School.
  • August: Emiri Lawrence, a kindergarten student at Englewood Elementary School.
  • September: Rayne Wilkerson, a third-grade student at Glenallen Elementary School.
  • October: Kai Sons, a second-grade student at Incarnation Catholic School.
  • November: Ana Martinez-Montanez, a fourth-grade student at St. Martha Catholic School.
  • December: Bryce Santar, a fifth-grade student at Ashton Elementary School.

Nearly 13,500 acres of seagrass beds are in coastal and bay waters in Sarasota County, the release points out. “Sea life such as manatees and sea turtles depend on the seagrass for food,” the release explains. Seagrass also is home to marine life such as seahorses, crabs and sea stars.

“Keeping stormwater as clean and clear as possible will help seagrass grow,” said Mollie Holland, NEST coordinator, in the release. “More seagrass means more food for manatees and sea turtles, and more room for fish, seahorses and other marine life,” she added in the release.