Green Cambridge, Cambridge Local First Announce Winners of Cambridge City Nature Art Challenge: Youth Art Depicts Fisher, Blue Jay, and Ducks

CAMBRIDGE, MA (July 1,  2020) Green Cambridge and Cambridge Local First (CLF) have announced the winners of the Cambridge City Nature Art Challenge. Raúl The Third, a 2020 Pura Belpré Award recipient for ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to Market, judged the entries in Kindergarten through Grade 3. The judge for entries in Grade 5 and above was Erica Beade, a science illustrator who also teaches observational drawing independently and at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

The winners are:


  • Heath C., Martin Luther King, Jr. School, Fisher
  • Kaelyn Y.,  Kennedy-Longfellow School, Barred Owl
  • Nathan Z., Tobin Montessori School, Family of Birds

Grade 1

  • Katie S., Graham and Parks School, Blue Jay
  • Margot B., Peabody School, A Turkey and Its Shadow

Grade 2

  • Haruka B., Kennedy-Longfellow School, Birdland (Northern Cardinal and Blue Jay)
  • Isla N., Baldwin School, White-tailed Deer

Grade 3

  • Nora R., Amigos School/Escuela Amigos, Lady Beetle
  • Ellen T, Peabody School, Pine Warbler

Grade 5

  • Vida N., Baldwin Elementary School, Baby Duckies 
  • Zephyros K., Peabody Elementary School, Willet 

Grade 6

  • Matias M., Amigos School, Great Blue Heron
  • Nina M., Putnam Avenue Upper School, Blue Jay 

Grade 8

  • A student from Cambridge Street Upper School, Cedar Waxwing

Julie Croston, who coordinates Cambridge Wildlife Arts, the arts-based environmental education program of Green Cambridge, designed the art challenge. “Several years ago, we adopted the global citizen science project City Nature Challenge as our spring focus,” says Croston. “It was a natural way to do what we most want to do—connect people to our urban habitats and animal species. This year, because of COVID, we had to transform our in-person, outdoor art events in Cambridge during the CNC into something that still engaged both the artist and curious person in
each child. I’m thrilled because a lot of families have been telling me they’re learning about local species together as part of entering the art challenge.”

Theo Skeadas, executive director of Cambridge Local First, said “Working with Green
Cambridge is a great fit; we’re both advocating that Cambridge’s core value is with our local businesses and our local environment, that unique combination of people and place. Engaging children in that concept, in a way that they can relate to, is important to our shared future.”

Prizes for the winners include gift cards from Coady Florist, Bagelsaurus, Cambridge Naturals, 1369 Coffeehouse, and El Jefe Tacquería—members of Cambridge Local First,—all donated by Cambridge Savings Bank, a CLF member. Berryline, another CLF member, also donated to the pool of prizes.

In addition, a donation from Cambridge Trust Company, also a CLF member, will fund a gift of high quality supplies to all entrants who are in Kindergarten through Grade 3. Local business members of Cambridge Local First will display winning entries in windows.

The Cambridge City Nature Art Challenge for K-8, linked as it is to the findings of local citizen scientists, illustrates that science, and citizen science, need not be a rarefied, isolated practice, says Boston Area City Nature Challenge (CNC) steering committee member Colleen Hitchcock, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Brandeis University. “Children and young people can make age-appropriate contributions to solving the pressing environmental problems through the CNC. The Cambridge City Nature Art Challenge has broadened the path to their engagement with environmental science and their knowledge of local habitat.”

Cambridge Wildlife Arts, formerly the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project, is an educational program of Green Cambridge. Since 2012, children from neighborhoods and schools across the city have participated in workshops offered by this arts-based environmental education program, including in costume and giant puppet creation for the Honk! Parade.

About Green Cambridge:

Green Cambridge works to create a more sustainable city and to protect the
environment for the health and safety of all.

About Cambridge Local First:

The mission of CLF is to support, promote, and celebrate a “Local Economy Community” by educating the public and government about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of a strong local economy.

Cambridge Local First