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Oklahoma

St. Mary’s senior speaks for the trees

By Antjea Wolff / [email protected]

PITTSBURG, KS — After being inspired to take part by her biology trainer, Donna Maus, Meg Norman, a senior at St. Mary’s Colgan, was awarded first place Annual Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) speech contest on Monday.

KACD was based in 1944 as a non-profit, non-governmental group devoted to offering schooling and assets to varsities and the public.

Prior to the KACD competitors, Norman first gained first place in the Crawford County Conservation District competitors after which in the KACD Area V competitions, which certified her to compete at the state stage.

Norman acquired an honorable point out for final 12 months’s talking engagement, which earned her $250 towards her schooling.

After receiving her first place award at the 78th Annual KACD Conference in Wichita on Monday, November 21, Norman delivered her speech on Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities to an viewers of over 150.

In her speech, Norman mentioned numerous threats to trees, why it ought to matter to people, and what people can do about the threats.

Norman mentioned her household has at all times liked being in nature, and as a toddler she attended Pittsburg State University’s Nature Reach Summer Program yearly. As she obtained older, she started volunteering to help the organizers of the program. Norman mentioned she believes this has prompted her to grow to be extra concerned in conservation.

“I’ve always enjoyed it,” she mentioned. “And in the last few years, I’ve realized that there’s a problem, and I’ve just become more interested in it.”

Norman mentioned she at all times preferred trees as a result of her grandfather had a walnut grove and she or he at all times planted and tended trees.

“Not only are they helping us physically,” Norman mentioned, “but in areas with more vegetation, the communities are generally healthier. And higher vegetation can be associated with less crime and improve mental health, so that’s important.”

In the fall of 2023, Norman mentioned she plans to pursue a biology diploma from PSU with a focus in wildlife ecology and conservation. She mentioned she is contemplating a profession in educating or in wildlife rehabilitation.

Including the state competitors, Norman has gained $1,000 in scholarships in the numerous KACD competitions this 12 months.

“I was pretty confident after my performance, but it was exciting to hear that I won because I worked really hard for it.”

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