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date 04/24/98

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb., April 24, 1998--Ryan Stephens, a fifth grade student at Almond-Bancroft School in Almond, Wis., has been named the grand prize winner in the 1998 Arbor Day National Poster Contest. Ryan's poster was chosen over entrants from 43 states and the District of Columbia. The annual contest is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation and co-sponsored in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry and the Wisconsin Arborists Association.

Ryan will be honored at the Arbor Day Foundation's April 24 Arbor Day Weekend celebration in Nebraska City. He will be joined by his parents, Dick Stephens and Mary Bratz, and his teacher, Brad Baumgartner. As the grand prize winner, Ryan will receive a $500 savings bond and a framed color-copy of his poster, and Baumgartner will receive $200 for classroom materials.

The Arbor Day National Poster Contest has been held since 1992 to help promote the importance of Arbor Day and tree planting. Posters are developed around the contest theme of "Trees are Terrific . . . in Cities and Towns." Fifth-grade students in states with a designated state contest coordinator are eligible to enter the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. This year, more than 35,000 curriculum kits were distributed to fifth grade classrooms by state coordinators.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship.

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