Annual poster contest highlights the Island’s ecosystem

The Friends of Sengekontacket awarded Edgartown School sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in their annual poster contest.

Students gathered Friday in science teacher David Faber’s classroom at the Edgartown School to be recognized for their award winning artistry in this year’s Friends of Sengekontacket annual poster contest.

The posters, handcrafted by students from the Edgartown School as well as the Oak Bluffs School, will be placed at each entrance to State Beach, numbering 48 in total, as well as on Steamship Authority vessels. The contest has been going on for approximately 25 years, according to Michael Krause, president of the Friends of Sengekontacket, and is open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from the towns where Sengekontacket Pond and State Beach are located.

Faber praised his students for being “stewards of this fragile ecosystem,” a topic which he helps teach to the eighth graders at Edgartown School. “Hundreds of thousands of people visit these beaches, but it’s also a prime habitat,” Faber continued. “This contest helps you to become stewards, and helps the beachgoers know that what they carry in, needs to be carried out.”

The Friends of Sengekontacket asked students this year to focus their posters on the effects of plastic on the beaches. Each of the winning posters featured the phrase “Carry in. Carry out.” and reflected the potential harm that debris can cause the ocean ecosystem.

“The posters are getting better every year,” Krause said. Krause, Olga Church, and Chick Stapleton, board members of the Friends of Sengekontacket, handed out certificates and laminated copies of the winning posters to the young artists, with smiles and joy palpable in the room. Students passed around each other’s artwork, marveling at the talent that each possessed, and congratulating one another, not only on their respective wins, but on the work they are doing to help save the Vineyard ecosystem.