A recent Hackettstown High School graduate is competing for national honors after her poster for a Soil Conservation District contest won top honors in both Warren County and New Jersey.
Allamuchy Township resident Taylor Copko received a certificate of merit from the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders and a free balloon ride for two at the Warren County Farmers’ Fair and Balloon Festival from Jersey Central Power & Light in recognition of her achievement in the National Conservation Poster Contest.
Every year, Soil Conservation Districts across the state of New Jersey give students in grades 2 through 12 the chance to participate in the contest, researching the theme about an important conservation issue and designing a poster based on that theme. This year’s theme was “Local Heroes….Your Hardworking Pollinators” and Copko is both County and Statewide Grand Champion for grades 10-12. Her poster will be judged against others from around the nation later this year.
Speaking about the contest, Copko remarked, “My favorite part is that I learned bats are a pollinator.” Her poster included drawings of bees, birds, butterflies and bats wearing superhero capes while pollinating flowers and other plants.
Copko said during the freeholder meeting presentation that she had been interested in art practically “all my life,” adding, “This is my passion.” She plans to study for the next year at Warren County Community College and then head to the San Francisco Academy of Art University to pursue her dream.
Previously she was honored at the Warren County Soil Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors meeting, where Freeholder Gardner, State Sen. Michael Doherty and Assemblymen John DiMaio and Erik Peterson joined in making presentations to her. She also was honored at the NJ Department of Agriculture’s Award Ceremony in Trenton by the NJ Association of Conservation Districts and the NJ Conservation Partnership consisting of the NJ Department of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.