April 18, 2018

Contact: Communications Office

Department of Natural Resources hosting annual Earth Day celebration April 27

Slogan contest winner Jillian Mudd will be recognized

JEFFERSON CITY, MO APRIL 17, 2018 – Close to 1,000 schoolchildren will visit the capital city for the 2018 Earth Day celebration. The students will come from as far as Springfield and as near as Jefferson City. They will meet wild birds, create rainstorms in an interactive sandbox and try to outwit their peers in the stage game Environmental Survivor.

Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the celebration will run 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Carnahan Memorial Garden behind the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City. The day will feature more than 30 booths and activities. The public is welcome to attend this free event.

Honored guests will include Jillian Mudd, a fifth-grade student from Leeton R-X Elementary School, who won the department’s slogan contest with her entry: “Trees are green, water is blue, keep nature nice for me and you!” More than 600 fifth-grade students entered the annual slogan contest. The department will recognize Jillian and present her with an official proclamation and $50 gift card from Central Bank as well as a set of natural resources trading cards and a Missouri rock and mineral set, both from the department’s Missouri Geological Survey.

Jillian’s math and science teacher, Theresa Schill, noted that although the school in west-central Missouri has entered the slogan contest for at least a decade, 2018 marks the first year that a Leeton student has won. And at 600-to-one odds, that’s quite a feat.

The Leeton school district is excited to support Jillian on her special day and enjoy the educational activities. The district arranged for the school’s 22 fifth-grade students to make the two-hour trek to Jefferson City, and the elementary school’s principal and the district’s superintendent plan to attend. “We’ve got quite the entourage,” Schill said “We feel like pop stars now. They’re all raring to go.”

Schill said the district of 340 students tries to incorporate the ideals of Earth Day into everyday life. She and other teachers promote the three tenets of reduce, reuse and recycle. Several times a year, classes clean the property, and teachers and students join forces on a wide-ranging recycling program. One facet involves collecting coffee grounds from the school, a local restaurant and some students’ homes; students incorporate the nutritive grounds into the school’s garden. “We can’t change the world, but we can do our little part,” Jillian’s teacher said.

To access a schedule and more information about the Earth Day celebration, go to