Essex County students in the fourth grade are invited to participate in the “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” Essay Contest and Essex County students in sixth grade to participate in the “Essex County Cherry Blossom Poster Contest.” Both activities are free and winners will be recognized on stage during the Essex County Bloomfest on Sunday, April 2d.

The “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” Essay Contest is open to any fourth grade student attending school in Essex County. Essays should be between 250 and 450 words, be typed on regular 8.5 by 11 paper, and students can only submit one essay. Entries must relate to the Essex County Park System, take a student perspective and be written in a student voice, have logical development and have ideas that build on one another and use language mechanics correctly. The deadline to enter the essay contest is Monday, March 12. Winning essays will be announced on Monday, April 2.

The Essex County Cherry Blossom Poster Contest is open to any sixth grade student attending school in Essex County. Entries are limited to one poster per student and must be submitted on 22-by-28 inch poster board. Posters may be done in marker, crayon, watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil or tempura paint and must have the words “Essex County Cherry Tree Collection.” Collages, computer generated images or printed artwork is not accepted. The deadline to enter the poster contest is Thursday, March 22. Posters will be on display in the Essex County Hall of Records first floor lobby during the month of April. Winning posters will be announced by Friday, April 6.

Registration forms are available at by clicking on the Cherry Blossom icon. Entry forms, essays and posters can be submitted to: Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Essex County Kip’s Castle Park, Attn: Kate Hartwyk, 22 Crestmont Road,Verona, N.J. 07044


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