Prothero, an eighth grader at Rocori Middle School, was among 100 students from 39 schools competing for honors. The other two top winners were seventh grader Michael Heen, Brooklyn Park; and eighth grader Alyssa Anderson, Lake Crystal.
"The intent of the program is to raise awareness of the growing importance that roadsides hold for wildlife species, especially songbirds," Larinda Burg, of the Roadsides program at the New Ulm DNR Regional Office, said.
Prothero is the daughter of Brian and Denise Junkemeier, Richmond. Emily's father states she has been drawing since she was three years old.
In addition to the grand prize, she received special recognition for her biological accuracy.
Works of the top 40 prize winners will be displayed at the Minnesota Deer Classic and Sports Show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds March 12 to 14, 1999. Posters of the top three prize winners will be displayed in the DNR Building during the 1998 Minnesota State Fair.
According to the DNR, grassy roadsides can be for the birds. Although these ribbons of green make up only a small fraction of our land area, researchers have found them to be highly productive nesting sites for more than 40 kinds of birds and animals that nest on the ground or in low vegetation. Examples include pheasants, gray partridge, rabbits, waterfowl, and songbirds.
The DNR encourages farmers to delay roadside mowing of the ditch bottom and back slope until August. A mowed strip along the shoulder is not damaging to nesting wildlife because most nests occur in the ditch bottom or back slope. Other disturbance factors which should be avoided include 'blanket' spraying, vehicle and agricultural encroachment, and grazing. If possible, leave roadsides undisturbed year-round.
Roadsides mowed after Sept. 1 should be clipped 'high.' A minimum of eight to 10 inches of erect, residual cover is vitally needed for next year's early nesters. Residual can also provide some roosting and escape cover.
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