PHOTO: Shade Tree Commission Chairman Louise I. Donoghue poses with AHES fifth grade poster contest honorees (from left) Lucy Jackson, Jordan Lombardi, Bailey Tucker and Maeve Sherlock. Photo courtesy Peter E. Donoghue.

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Sixteen Atlantic Highlands Elementary School students have been honored by the borough Shade Tree Commission for their participation in the annual Arbor Day tree poster contest.

The students were cited by commission chairman Louise I. Donoghue during an awards assembly April 17 at the elementary school. The five first-place winning posters will be posted in the First avenue windows of JBL Trinity Group Ltd, 50 First Ave.

PHOTO: Third graders (from left) Lydia Smith, Grace Schutzenhofer and Serena Parisi stand with Mrs. Donoghue after receiving their awards. Photo courtesy Peter E. Donoghue.

Approximately 150 students participated with the top 16 receiving gift certificates from Barnes & Noble and notice that a tree will be planted in their honor in a national forest. The theme of the poster contest was "Trees Are Terrific and Need Our Care."

First graders honored were Evan Ford, first place; Amelia Haggard, second place, and Maggie Mason Law, honorable mention.

Second graders recognized were Ava Frazier, first place; Hanna Ardolino, second place, and McKenzie Moody, honorable mention.

Prize-winning third graders were Grace Schutzenhofer, first place; Serena Parisi, second place, and Lydia Smith, honorable mention.

Fourth graders honored were Kylie Sanders, first place; Jodie Sanders, second place, and Kalelle Marrucca, honorable mention.

Prize-winning fifth graders were Maeve Sherlock and Bailey Tucker, who tied for first place; Jordan Lombardi, second place, and Lucy Jackson, honorable mention.

The poster contest was coordinated by art teacher Caroline Northrop and entries are judged by members of the Shade Tree Commission.

The contest is part of the borough's Arbor Day observances and includes a tree-planting honoring the late John Scott, long-time Shade Tree Commission chairman, and a tree-related educational program for children at the public library.

The commission is also distributing 200 Norway spruce tubelings to local youngsters.

Mrs. Donoghue also has announced that the borough has been named a "Tree City USA" for the 34th straight year in honor of its commitment to community forestry. The national recognition was accorded by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Forest Service.