---- — DERRY — A St. Thomas Aquinas School second-grader earned top honors for her poster honoring the forests and mountains.
Olivia Bartos received special recognition as one of the state’s top five entries in the Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl poster contest presented by the national garden club group and Forest Service.
The Derry Garden Club belongs to the national federation and sponsors the local contest every year. Last week, Derry club president Blanche Garone and forest ranger Neil Bilodeau visited Olivia at her school to present her with the poster award.
Smokey Bear also made an appearance at St. Thomas and also visited the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Derry later in the day.
St. Thomas Aquinas students in kindergarten through third grade got to meet Smokey and the other special guests during an assembly. They learned how the annual poster contest is one way to inspire students to use their creativity to help prevent wildfires and care for the land.
Olivia will receive more honors on May 21, when she attends a ceremony at the White Mountains National Headquarters in Campton. Her poster of Woodsy Owl with its reminder to “Lend A Hand, Take Care of the Land” will be on display at the forest site. A national poster winner will be named later this month.