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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:05:20 10:57:30

From left: Andrew Baransky, Blanche Baransky, Michael Elia, principal, Abington Heights Middle School; Shannon Baransky and Anthony Gangemi, superintendent of field operations, Pennsylvania American Water.

A sixth-grade student from South Abington Township recently earned the top statewide prize in Pennsylvania American Water's 11th annual "Protect Our Watersheds" art contest. The company received approximately 525 entries from fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders across the commonwealth.

Abington Heights Middle School student Shannon Baransky earned first place for eastern Pennsylvania and the grand prize for her artwork illustrating a wildlife scene depicting how watershed health impacts land and water animals as well as humans.

Aamnah Amanullah, a fifth-grade student from Spring-Ford Intermediate School in Royersford, placed second and Ava D'Alessandro, a sixth-grade student from Duryea, placed third for eastern Pennsylvania. The three students will receive gift cards for their winning entries.

"We are excited that so many students participated and used their creativity to express the need to protect our watersheds," said Pennsylvania American Water president Kathy L. Pape. "The contest is a fun and meaningful way to help them better understand the importance of environmental stewardship."

As the grand prize winner, Baransky will have her artwork featured on "bloomer cards" distributed across the state by Pennsylvania American Water. Bloomers are seed-filled cards that, when planted and tended, produce a variety of wildflowers.