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Iowa Students Receive National Honors in Art and Poetry
Posted: 04/22/2014

Four Iowa students have received national recognition for art and poetry they submitted to the 2014 River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Contest.

The Grand Prize in Art (10th to 12th Grades) was awarded to 18-year-old Hannah Harms of Waverly for her artwork titled, “Genesis: A Drop of Life.”

Three additional Iowa students were also selected from thousands of entries and recognized as 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”

“Having Iowa students selected as a grand prize winner and as finalists really shows the talent of Iowa’s youth and their appreciation for natural resources,” said Jacklyn Gautsch, Iowa DNR River of Words coordinator. “Iowans should be proud of the accomplishments of these young people.”

All national winners and finalists are posted on the River of Words website at:

Following the national competition, all Iowa entries are returned to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which holds an annual statewide contest. For more information about Iowa River of Words, visit

The 2014 Iowa winners will be posted in May.

The annual River of Words contest is a program of the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s College of California. The River of Words program inspires youth to translate their observations about their local watersheds and environment into creative expressions in poems and art.