Seven Lake Oswego students were honored Saturday as the winners of this year's Arbor Day Art Contest.
Contract arborist Morgan Holen and Mayor Kent Studebaker announced the winners at a ceremony during the opening day of the Lake Oswego Farmers Market. Each student was awarded a certificate, a prize pack with urban forestry items and either a native Oregon ash or vine maple tree sapling.
In the K-2 division, Forest Hills Elementary second-grader Sasha Paranjpe won first place, Lake Grove Elementary second-grader Jimmy Prasad took second place and Oak Creek Elementary second-grader Sabrina Hayashi won third place.
In the third- through fifth-grade division, Hallinan Elementary third-grader Meredith Razey won first place, Oak Creek Elementary fourth-grader Elliot Choi landed in second place and Lake Grove Elementary fourth-grader Alexis Zou took third place.
Only one prize was awarded for students in grades six through eight, and it went to Lake Oswego Junior High seventh-grader Chelsea Prasad. She and the other divisions' first-place winners also received a Family Four-Pack Pass to the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum in Portland's Washington Park.
The contest for students in grades K-8 has become an annual part of Lake Oswego's Arbor Day celebration, but there was an additional reason to get excited this year: In addition to being certified as a Tree City USA for the 29th year in a row, Lake Oswego was named Oregon Tree City of the Year for 2018 in recognition of its ongoing efforts to promote an urban forest.
The award was incorporated into the theme of this year's art contest, and every participant received a frame for their artwork that commemorates Lake Oswego's award.
"We had a record-breaking 185 entries this year," Holen told the audience at the farmers market.
The winners took their framed art home after the ceremony, but all of the remaining entries are currently on display at the Parks & Recreation Department headquarters in the Palisades building (1500 Greentree Road). Parks & Rec is scheduled to transition out of the building next month, and Holen says the City will try to return each piece of art to its creator at that point.