The event honored students from area schools who participated in the 2003 conservation art and writing contest titled "Rediscovering its Value: Kentucky Wildlife."
The contest was sponsored by The Courier-Journal and Kentucky Farm Bureau, along with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts.
The opening speech was given by David Howard, secretary-treasurer of the Harlan County Conservation District.
Along with awards being handed out, students also received checks for over $100 and the county winners received a $50 savings bond.
"I am pleased the students participated in this with such a great turnout," said administrative secretary Susie Mavinidis.
The art contest was open to students from the first through the fifth grade.
Students are grouped from first to third place: Green Hills Elementary School: Jordan Turner, Katie Whitehead and Amanda Tolliver; Holy Trinity School: Brooke White, Floyd Gregory and Donovan Johnson; Harlan Middle School: Sarah Haywood, Anthony Long and Alykhan Premji; Harlan County Christian School: Whitney Brock, Taylor Bowman and Ted Colinger. The county runner-up was Brooke White and the county winner was Sarah Haywood.
The writing contest was open to students from the sixth through the 12th grade.
Students are grouped from first to third place: Green Hills Elementary School: Blake Saylor, Kayloni Craycraft and Brooke Curry; Holy Trinity School: Forrest Hollins, Ayla Coblentz and Matt Jones; Harlan Middle School: Ashley Wilson, Kerri McCarthy and Jonathan Marcum; Harlan County Christian School: Victoria Smith, Erika Garland and Hannah Groves; Cawood High School: Emily Balenovich; Cumberland High School: Brooks Hogue, Shawna Short and Jonathan Fields; Hall Elementary School: Vanessa Green, Rebecca Blakley and Brandy Crosby. The county runner up was Victoria Smith, and the county winner was Forrest Hollins.
Along with the awards presentation, a magnificent, colorful slide show of the endangered plants and flowers over the region was presented by Kentucky State Nature Preserves Ecology Manager Marc Evans.
"Harlan is the center of the universe," said Evans. "It is the best place in Kentucky."
Local officials who attended were Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, members of the Benham Garden Club and Dr. Murphy Green.
"This was a great turnout tonight," said Mavinidis.