from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

For more information,contact
Brian McManus (402) 471-4223, or
Amanda Woita (402) 471-4243
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2016

Nebraska Students’ Environmental Artwork to be Featured in 2017 “Nebraska: Don’t Waste It” Calendar

The artwork of 13 Nebraska students will be featured in the 2017 “Nebraska: Don’t Waste It!” environmental calendar. The statewide contest is sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and focuses on the importance of waste reduction, recycling and litter cleanup.

The students whose submissions were selected for the 2017 calendar were invited to a ceremony at the State Capitol on Tuesday, August 2, where they were honored by Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and NDEQ Director Jim Macy. Each month, the calendar features one of the 12 winning environmental posters. A 13th winner’s artwork provides the cover for the calendar.

The entry featured on the cover was submitted by Bryson Leffers, a third grade student from Seward Elementary, Seward.

The other 12 winners who are featured in the calendar are:

Whitlee Rudloff, a second grade student from Crawford Elementary, Crawford.

Sydney Harris, a third grade student from Loomis Public School, Loomis.

Brenda Lazaro Romero, a fifth grade student from Knickrehm Elementary, Grand Island.

Hope McDonald, a third grade student from Centura Elementary, Cairo.

Ava Buckner, a fifth grade student from Knickrehm Elementary, Grand Island.

Eden Funk, a sixth grade student from Gordon-Rushville Middle School, Rushville.

Mallory Brittenham, a third grade student from Immanuel Lutheran, Columbus.

Grant Vardaman, a fourth grade student from Rohwer Elementary, Omaha.

Nayeli Villa, a kindergarten student from Fisher’s 24 School, Schuyler.

Baylen Johnson, a sixth grade student from Kenesaw Public School, Kenesaw.

Abigail Gamage, a fifth grade student from Knickrehm Elementary, Grand Island.

Jonathan Gerdes, a ninth grade student from Lincoln East High School, Lincoln.

Over 1,500 students submitted entries into this year’s contest.

“I was impressed with the artwork we received this year,” Macy said. “The students’ posters convey important messages about protecting our environment.”

Copies of the calendar are available by contacting NDEQ at P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922, or by sending an e-mail request to

Below are photos of the individual contest winners, taken at the Aug. 2 ceremony. In each photo, Lt. Governor Mike Foley is at left, and NDEQ Director Jim Macy is at right. The last photo is a shot of the entire group.

SizeFile Name
1,068 KB Leffers.jpg
1,019 KB Rudloff.jpg
768 KB Harris.jpg
884 KB McDonald.jpg
1,050 KB buckner.jpg
930 KB Funk.jpg
978 KB Brittenham.jpg
1,110 KB Vardaman.jpg
1,371 KB Villa.jpg
958 KB Johnson.jpg
900 KB Gamage.jpg
941 KB Gerdes.jpg
1,634 KB 2017 Group.jpg