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Forest Park honors students for calendar art

The cover of the 2012 Keep Forest Park Beautiful calendar was created, last school year, by Huie Elementary first-grader Divinity Pullen-Linzy.

The cover of the 2012 Keep Forest Park Beautiful calendar was created, last school year, by Huie Elementary first-grader Divinity Pullen-Linzy.

Recycling can mean different things to different people.

A handful of Clayton County students got to share their opinions on the environment through artwork used in the 2012 Keep Forest Park Beautiful calendar.

At Anderson Elementary, Ariana Bridgett's "Driving less means no Pollution" graces the month of January. From Mt. Zion Elementary, Amya Young's drawing advises "Don't be Mean, Be Green" for February. Kylie Jackson's "Recycle" poster from Mt. Zion Elementary features a bright sun, birds flying against a blue sky, and over a green tree and pink flower.

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Five of the 13 artists whose works adorn the 2012 Keep Forest Park Beautiful were honored at a ceremony Thursday night by city officials.

Omole Osifoh was in second grade last year at Huie Elementary when she submitted April's "Save the Earth by Recycling," featuring a bright sun and rainbow. Flip the calendar to May and see Jacqueline Delay's "Keep Forest Park Clean" submission from Mt. Zion Elementary. The fifth-grader's poster also depicts a young girl advising, "Plant a new tree for every tree you cut down."

In June, Jacqueline Periz, a fourth-grader from Huie Elementary, reminds residents that "Trees help you grow with oxygen so why not help them grow." Esterllyn Padilla's artwork from Mt. Zion Elementary graces the month of July. The fourth-grader's neatly colored poster shows recycling bins, bright flowers, a shining sun and billowy clouds and a reminder: "The World is Beautiful, So Recycle."

Huie Elementary third-grader Dulce Santos' submission for August shows a park complete with a swing set and duck pond, and the admonition to "Keep the Earth Clean!!" For September, Montero Holston drew bicyclists tackling steep hills and jumping through a ring of fire. The West Clayton fourth-grader features an airplane flying over the activity while pulling a banner that reads, "Keep our Parks and Communities Clean. They are there for us all."

Ushering in fall, Jose Garcia-Muniz's contribution for October is a thick forest and a flowing stream of clear, blue water. The Huie Elementary fifth-grader drew a banner over the trees, "Keep Forest Park Clean." Angela Luce's November poster is chockfull of flowers, birds, butterflies and plenty of green grass. A young girl is planting a tree. Another is picking up trash. Recycling bins are depicted as a reminder to "Keep Your Earth Clean."

Rounding out the year is David Razo, Jr.'s drawing of the Earth as seen from space and surrounded by reminders to recycle.

Forest Park officials also recognized honorable mention artists. They are: Jovany Barraza, Emily Gomez, Alisa Moore, Sheila Mayo and Treonna Gardner, all from Huie Elementary; and Alicia Rodriguez from Anderson Elementary.

All the student-artists were honored during a ceremony, Thursday night, at City Hall. City Manager John Parker welcomed the students, their parents and other officials. He also thanked Keep Forest Park Beautiful Director Edie Yongue for her continuing efforts.

"This is an opportunity to say thanks and to look at what the kids can do," he said. "I also want to thank and recognize Edie and all her folks. Without her, this, naturally, would not be able to take place."

Marla Prince, spokeswoman for Waste Management, showed the crowd a video of the recycling process. During the short presentation, the audience watched the recycling of newspapers, plastics, glass, and aluminum cans. They heard how an aluminum can makes the journey from trash to a store shelf in 60 days.

Prince said the recycling process is usually an eye-opening experience for most folks.

"Most people don't understand what happens when trash leaves their house," she said. "Each person in America generates 4.5 pounds of trash every single day. It's just incredible what we throw away, and it's damaging to the environment. Everything you do creates trash, and it piles up."

The children who created the artwork for the 2012 calendar will likely never know what it is like to take trash to a dump. "We have state-of-the-art facilities now," said Prince. "The landfills are safer and more sanitary than the dumps we used to have. It's so wonderful to see the kids here learning about recycling and creating art about it."

Yongue said the organization has worked with students to create calendars promoting a cleaner environment for the past four years. "We have talented young people out there," said Yongue. "Each year, the pictures get better."