They Speak for the Trees: Shade Tree Commission Sponsors Art Contest

By Emely Herrera Montoya

During a pandemic, art class can be very challenging and different, but Mrs. Dizefalo never fails to make class fun. This year, grades five through eight are eligible to enter a contest to design an image for the Bradley Beach Shade Tree Commission’s promotional items.

Middle School students are drawing trees and/or leaves to represent the Bradley Beach Shade Tree Commission. The winner of the contest will get their drawing design printed onto tote bags for the community. I got the chance to interview Summer Deaver, one of the organizers of the Bradley Beach Shade Tree Commission, who came up with the idea for the contest, via email. These were her responses:

Q: Who started the Bradley Beach Shade Tree Commission? 

A: Last spring, [resident] Shana Janoff sent an email to the mayor and city council as she saw a beautiful large evergreen going down across the street from her home in Bradley Beach. Her email was entitled “The Giving Tree.” It was a passionate acknowledgement at the finality of seeing a beautiful tree taken down, and that she would like to see a Shade Tree Commission back in town that could help to prevent the unnecessary removal of healthy trees in our midst. “The trees  are my neighbors and friends,” she said.  According to Al Gubitosi, city councilman, it helped to inspire him to get more aggressive about putting in place a Shade Tree Commission that would go a step further in protecting all the trees in our borough. Together with environmentalist and councilman John Weber, the Shade Tree Commission.

Q: What is the purpose of the organization?

A: To foster an appreciation in Bradley Beach for the living things called trees that we share our borough with. To protect them whenever possible and to plant new ones for our benefit as a celebration of life.

Q: Who is eligible to be in the contest?

A: Middle school students of Bradley Beach Elementary School.

Q: How do you choose a winner?

A: We will post all the artwork on the Bradley Beach Shade Tree Facebook Page, and let the community vote. We will honor the winner at Arbor Day on April 30.  

 Thank you Ms. Deaver! We can’t wait to learn who wins.

Some student work by (from top left) Irving Rojas Quiroz, grade 7; Leah Twerrell, grade 6; Angelique Memije Hernandez, grade 7; and Nancy Martinez, grade 6.

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