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Golden Dumpster Poster Contest Winners Announced

June 17, 2003

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today named two Sussex County schools as winners of the Division of Fish & Wildlife's Golden Dumpster Poster Contest. The winning schools will receive bear-proof dumpsters.

The poster contest was initiated to raise awareness among kids, schools and communities to "bear proof" their surroundings. The black bear population in New Jersey is on the rise, as well as the number of people living in this state. As both populations rise, people and bears have greater potential to come into contact with one another.

"It is important that we learn to co-exist with these majestic animals," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "These bear-proof dumpsters should serve as a reminder that we need to properly manage garbage so we are not enticing bears to our homes and schools."

The winning entries came from Sussex and Morris County. The students in Ms. Bryce's sixth grade class at Hopatcong Middle School coined the slogan "Be cool, bear proof your school" for their winning poster. Mr. Glen Umland's fifth grade class at M.E. McKeown School in Hampton (Sussex County) submitted a poster depicting tips on keeping school grounds bear-proof.

The poster contest, which featured a lesson plan on bear proofing school grounds, was announced to all schools in the core area of "bear country" - Morris, Passaic, Sussex & Warren counties.

The bear-proof dumpsters received today were donated by McClintock Metals and Vquip. The dumpsters, valued at about $600, are used in commercial settings. By discouraging bears from feeding on garbage, bear-proof dumpsters and garbage cans prevent bears from becoming a problem for people.

The winning posters will be printed and distributed to all the schools in bear country, and will be displayed on the Division of Fish & Wildlife's website.

"Black Bears and Food in the Schoolyard" activity. (220kb)(In PDF format. Use the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF files. It is available free from Adobe's Web site.

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