Students from Hillsborough County are encouraged to enter the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District’s Summer Poster Contest. You can win cash awards and have your artwork seen by thousands at the Hillsborough County Fair this October. The theme for each poster is 'We Love Pollinators.'

The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting a Summer Poster Contest. Students from Pre-K through 12th grade are eligible to enter. The contest is free to enter. Students who attend public or private school and homeschool are eligible to enter.

All entries submitted will be displayed at the Hillsborough County Fair from Thursday to Sunday, October 17-20 and 24-27. All entries are eligible to win cash awards. There are two categories Junior category is Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade and fourth through sixth grade. Senior categories are seventh through ninth grade and 10th through 12th grade.

In the Junior Categories, first place can win $25, second place is $15 and third place is $10. In the Senior Categories, first place can win $50, second place is $30 and third place is $20.

The theme for this year’s contest is ‘We Love Pollinators.’

According to Betty Jo Tompkins, Executive Director of the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District, “During the last National Bee Colony Count, we learned that we have lost 40.7 percent of the total amount of beehives in the U.S. This is catastrophic and not sustainable.”

Tompkins added, “The purpose of the contest is to create greater awareness of pollinators and the role they play in our world.”

Posters should illustrate what pollinators do for the world. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, birds and bats.

“Without these pollinators, we would not have fruits, vegetables and even nuts. They are critical to the production of fruits, vegetables and nuts,” said Tompkins.

The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District serves conservation needs at the local level. The organization is responsible for programs in the inner city, urban, suburban and rural communities. The purpose of the organization is to provide local grassroots mechanisms to deal with soil, water and other natural resources problems and in preventing problems in Hillsborough County.

The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District was organized by the people of Hillsborough County in August 1946. Entries for the “We Love Pollinators” Poster Contest are accepted through August 30.

Entries can be sent to 201 S. Collins St., Ste. 202, Plant City, Fl 33563. For more information on this contest and others, please call 752-1474, ext. 3 or email soilandwater@hcflgov.net or visit www.hillssoilandwater.org.