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Toro teams up with Wyland Foundation for art contest

August 4, 2014 -  By
(From left) Robert Wyland and Rob Starr. Photo: Toro

(From left) Robert Wyland and Rob Starr. Photo: Toro

On the heels of the Irrigation Association’s Smart Irrigation Month, The Toro Co. unveiled a partnership with the Wyland Foundation in the National “Water Is Life” Classroom Mural and Art Contest. The annual contest, for students nationwide in grades K-12, combines art and research to explore the ways water is used throughout the United States.

Inspired by the growing demands on U.S. water resources, organizers expect more than 10,000 students in 40 states to participate. Students will explore issues ranging from new conservation technologies to sustainable development. In addition, schools in more than 100 cities will receive a free 4 foot by 8 foot canvas mural painting kit, including art supplies and lesson plans, in a random drawing courtesy of Toro, Fredrix Artist Canvas, Arts & Activities Magazine, Jerry’s Art-A-Rama and the Wyland Foundation.

This year’s theme, “Our Ocean,” encourages students to use research to better understand the impact of smart water management on coasts and oceans hundreds of miles downstream. Then, students interpret their findings through art.

“Reducing landscape irrigation run-off is extremely important,” said Rob Starr of Toro’s water management technologies group. “The effect of chemicals used on lawns and gardens carried off by excessive landscape watering can contribute greatly to polluting our watersheds and ocean.”

Students are encouraged to publicly display their artworks at schools, malls and city centers, along with an artist’s statement, to broaden public awareness about water efficiency issues. Mural contest winners will be chosen in three grade categories: K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Individual winners will be recognized in all grade categories. The deadline to enter is Nov. 25, and contest winners will be announced Dec. 12.

Winning classrooms in each category will receive a signed Wyland artwork (total ARV $1,000) and a $250 grant for classroom art supplies. Selected winners will be featured in a water conservation calendar produced by the Wyland Foundation and Toro. Schools will have the ability to sell the calendars to fund water conservation projects on their campuses.

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LM Staff

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