"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children." This Native American proverb echoes the theme for the 2013 Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) Earth Day Poster and Trash Art Competition–"Tomorrow's Earth is today's responsibility."

Students can learn this valuable life lesson and share it with others by participating in the contest, which has two categories–poster and trash art.

The notion that one man's trash is another man's treasure has been around for decades. Students entering the trash art category will have the opportunity to experience this as they re-purpose garbage into three-dimensional pieces of art.

Poster entries should echo the theme of the contest while also focusing on what individuals, schools and communities can do to protect and enhance the environment.

The contest is open to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski or Washington counties. Homeschool students meeting these criteria are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Entries for both categories are open until March 21, 2013, and may be left at the county clerk's office of your local courthouse or at Meramec Regional Planning Commission, located at 4 Industrial Dr., in St. James before March 22, 2013.

Earth-friendly prizes will be awarded to first and second place winners in both categories for each grade level. Judges may also award honorable mention certificates.

Posters must not exceed 28"x22", and trash art projects must not exceed 12"x12"x12".

All entries must be clearly marked with the student's name, grade, school district, school name and teacher's name. If any information is not labeled, the entry will be disqualified.

Winning entries from the 2012 contest can be viewed online at www.meramecregion.org.

For full contest rules, email Teri Smith at press@meramecregion.org.

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district's strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by MDNR, involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities.

For more information about ORSWMD or recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, at 573-265-2993 or by email at tsnodgrass@meramecregion.org.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 27, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.