Public Info

Union County Celebrates Young Poets in Annual Arbor Day Poetry Contest

In honor of Arbor Day, the Union County Board of County Commissioners, in collaboration with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board, unveils the distinguished winners of the annual Union County Arbor Day Poetry Contest. Each year, the contest aims to inspire students in grades 4-8 to embrace environmental stewardship and advocate for tree conservation.

“Recognizing our students’ dedication to the environment through poetry showcases their thoughtful connection to nature,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Congratulations to all students for their efforts, and a special congratulations to the winners for their outstanding achievement. Your words encourage us all to protect our precious environment.”

A special awards ceremony, honoring the first, second, and third place winners across different grade levels, will be held during Wednesday, April 24th at 6:00 p.m., where the winners will be recognized by the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

4th Grade

1st place – Nature’s Heroes – by: Arjun Verma, Jefferson Elementary School, Westfield

2nd place – The Tree – by: Ty Rios, Jefferson Elementary School, Westfield

3rd place – The Beautiful Giants – by: Luke Vinokur, Mountain Park School, Berkeley Heights

5th Grade

1st Place – The Tree Tale – by: Giovanna Flecca, Nettingham Middle School, Scotch Plains

2nd Place – What Will I Do? – by: Harper Feldman, Mountain Park School, Berkeley Heights

3rd Place – Overlooked Heroes – by: Nora Lee, Mountain Park School, Berkeley Heights

6th Grade  

1st Place:  Arbor Day – by: Sanai Johnson, Grover Cleveland School, Rahway 

2nd Place: Arbor Day – by: Noah Harvey, Grover Cleveland School, Rahway

3rd Place: Trees – by: Sloane Potocek, Terrill Middle School, Scotch Plains   

7th Grade 

 1st place –The Seasons of the Trees – by: Olivia Shamrakov, Terrill Middle School, Scotch Plains

2nd place – Towers of Nature by: Aidan Katz, Terrill Middle School, Scotch Plains

3rd place – Dance like a Tree by: Kelly Huang, Columbia Middle School, Berkeley Heights

8th Grade

1st place – Sturdy and Tall – by: Nyla Lopez, Mabel G. Holmes School #5 Elizabeth

2nd place- Tree Spirit – by: Mohamadi Saniwidi, Mabel G. Holmes School #5 Elizabeth

3rd place- The Red Maple Tree – by: Jesica Laskowski, Mabel G. Holmes School #5 Elizabeth

“The Arbor Day Poetry Contest encourages students to explore the importance of trees in our ecosystem through poetry,” said Commissioner James Baker, the Commissioner Board Liaison to the Shade Tree Advisory Board. “By nurturing their creativity and environmental awareness, we equip them with the knowledge needed to become protectors of the environment.”

Arbor Day, observed every last Friday in April, has its origins in 1872 when it began in Nebraska, urging people to plant trees and raise environmental awareness. Over time, it has grown into a nationwide event promoting the appreciation of trees and their ecological importance. This year, Arbor Day falls on April 26th, highlighting the crucial role of environmental stewardship in safeguarding our natural resources.

For further inquiries regarding the Arbor Day Poetry Contest, please contact Andrea Staten at or 908-789-3659. To learn more more about Union County’s commitment to environmental initiatives, visit The Green Connection at