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These are the most recent stories published within the Iowa Outdoors news packet:

Environmental Art and Poetry Contest Winners Announced
Posted: 07/08/2014
DES MOINES – Thirty-six Iowa students have been announced as the winners, runner-ups or honorable mentions in the 2014 Iowa River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Contest. 

“The talent of Iowa’s youth and their appreciation for nature really shows in the entries we received this year,” said Jacklyn Gautsch, Iowa DNR River of Words Coordinator. “Iowans should be proud of the accomplishments of these young people.”

The students’ poems and art were selected from hundreds of entries. Results are as follows:


Grades kindergarten to three
Winner: On the Shore by Olivia Strang, West Des Moines
Runner-up: River by Nathan Moser, Urbandale
Honorable mention: Waste in the Water by Aubrey Opperman, Urbandale
Honorable mention: Cattails by Colten Teem, Urbandale
Honorable mention: Rain by Jaden Sochit, Urbandale

Grades four to six
Winner: Bullied Leaves by Celesta Cox, Ankeny
Runner-up: Home Sweet Home by Kennedy Boyd, Waukee
Honorable mention: The Stream by Janae Kasterndick, Grinnell
Honorable mention: Forest Voices by Mitchell Oberfoell, West Des Moines
Honorable mention: Super Cell by Mitchell Oberfoell, West Des Moines
Honorable mention: River of Thoughts by Jude Borromeo, West Des Moines

Grades seven to nine
Winner: Unforgotten Memories by Shivani Kumaresan, Urbandale
Runner-up: Rain by Tessa Meyer, Cambridge
Honorable mention: Ocean at Dusk by Hope Roland, Grinnell
Honorable mention: In the Woods by Lauryn Brown, Polk City

Grades 10 to 12
Winner: Transformation by Victoria Taylor, Davenport
Runner-up: Renewed by Lorraine Pereira, Davenoirt
Honorable mention: Where is IT? By Arika Allen, Davenoirt
Honorable mention: Peril by Alexis King, Davenport
Honorable mention: The Wondrous Woods by Collin Herington, Bettendorf


Grades kindergarten to three
Winner: Stream by Hannah Serdareric, Urbandale
Runner-up: Tropical Water Fall by Sophie Cochran, Urbandale
Honorable mention: Watershed by Nathan Moser, Urbandale

Grades four to six
Winner: The Sea by Adam McFee, Grinnell
Runner-up: Chameleon by Emma Chambers, Dubuque
Honorable mention: Daphne’s Pond by Meridan Boyd, Waukee
Honorable mention: Robin by Emma Chambers, Dubuque

Grades seven to nine
Winner: Untitled by Sam Whelan, Polk City
Runner-up: Sunligh by Karlin McGarvey, Ankeny
Honorable mention: Tiptoe by Zoe Dill, Grinnell
Honorable mention: First Snow by Maddie Mann, Ankeny

Grades 10 to 12
Winner: Hedwig Abstracted by Justeen Schoner, Marion
Runner-up: The Crown by Micheal Helmich, Davenport
Honorable mention: Italian Waterfront by Rachel Lyle, Davenport
Honorable mention: The Ocean Reclaims by Hannah Hansen, Davenport
Honorable mention: Elephant by Jamie Thurston, Madrid
Honorable mention: Bridge Over Iowa Water by Suzanna Host, Polk City

In addition, four Iowa students received national recognition for their 2014 entries. Their art and poetry were selected from thousands of entries and recognized as national finalists and one grand prize winner.

Hannah Harms, 18, of Waverly, was awarded the grand prize in art, grades 10 to 12, for her artwork titled “Genesis: A Drop of Life.”

National finalists:
Emily Delleman, 15, of Davenport  for her artwork titled, “Drought”
Elizabeth Heidt, 17, of Davenport for her artwork titled, “Have Confidence in Your Reflection”
Mitchell Oberfoell, 10, of West Des Moines, for his poem titled, “Spiderlings.”

For more information about Iowa ROW visit

The National River of Words Contest is sponsored by St. Mary’s College in California and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.