Plants to the Rescue! Plant Mash-Up contest winners announced

Seed Your Future reveals the winning submissions for this year’s BLOOM! plant-based solutions to community issues contest.

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Seed Your Future announced the winners of their Spring 2020 Plant Mash-up contest and sweepstakes — a fun and educational element of their BLOOM! “Plants to the Rescue” campaign. In collaboration with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, BLOOM! provides free eye-catching, fact-based content delivered both inside and outside of the classroom.

The “Plants to the Rescue! Plant Mash-Up” contest and sweepstakes took learning a step further and engaged middle-school students in imagining and illustrating their own plant hybrid. They selected a challenge in their community, then described and drew their own unique plant-based solution.

The Grand Prize winner, seventh grader La’i L. from Honolulu, Hawaii, imagined a creative solution to carbon dioxide and water pollution by “mashing-up” the coast redwood tree and mangrove.

“The student submissions were so creative and thoughtful. Our judges were impressed by the passion and inventiveness of the entries,” said Susan E. Yoder, executive director of Seed Your Future. “Anyone who is concerned about the fate of our planet, or the future of human and animal health, need only to look to these students and be comforted that the future looks bright!”

Runner-up winner, sixth-grader Melanie T. from Tempe, Arizona, selected air pollution as her challenge. She cleverly combined the peace lily with the Texas mountain laurel to get rid of toxins in the air.

To encourage broad student participation — and a chance for every student to be a winner — the contest included a sweepstakes component, with the winner randomly selected from all entries. Ethan P., an eighth grader from Whitefish, Montana, won with his solution to “bears need food,” with a plant mash-up of jackfruit and blackberries.

Plants are critical to a healthy future for the planet, but their power is unknown to most American youth. This latest BLOOM! campaign marks year three of this initiative of Seed Your Future, a coalition of more than 200 partners — including horticulture companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens, youth organizations, nonprofit organizations and individual advocates — united in their mission to promote horticulture and careers working with plants.

“Students chose an incredibly diverse array of community issues to tackle, including global hunger, homelessness, air and water pollution, climate change, human health issues, erosion, food deserts, garbage-infested vacant lots, and even some more personal issues such as not wanting to do their chores of trimming bushes or mowing lawns,” said Yoder. “We’ll be featuring the winners and many honorable mentions on our social media (@SeedYourFuture) in the coming days and weeks. A number of students even imagined plant-based solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. We think these students will be our next scientists, practitioners and green-collar professionals who will solve some of our world’s most challenging issues with plants!”

Seed Your Future’s premise is that whether BLOOM! introduces today’s youth to a lifelong passion or a fulfilling career, one thing is clear — the more you know about plants, the more you can make a difference in the world today.