The OPEI Education and Research Foundation and Discovery Education has announced that Deborah Icard’s fourth-grade class at Cloverleaf Elementary School in Statesville, North Carolina, has won the grand prize from the TurfMutt “Landscapes Across America” contest for a creative classroom presentation on their local environment.

The national contest challenged third to fifth-grade classrooms with showcasing their school’s unique local landscape and the environmental aspects of their region that need to be protected. Icard’s class was chosen on their presentation on how they would solve erosion and topsoil issues, attract wildlife, lower air pollution and make their grounds more sustainable. The class presentation included solutions such as planting more trees and plants, adding additional grass and groundcovers, and supplementing the soil with organic matter. The class will receive a $5,000 grant to implement an eco-friendly classroom program at the school, a $500 teacher award and trees planted in the U.S. in honor of each member of the class.

Second-place winners included: Wendy Palese, Elmwood Elementary School, Mechanicsburg Area School District, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Christine Tang, Eastover Elementary School, Bloomfield Hills School District, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Mary Beisart, West End Elementary School, Bellville Independent School District, Industry, Texas; and Ellen Raieta, Marshall Street Elementary School, Norristown Area School District, Norristown, Pennsylvania.