Yesterday evening, as part of my special neighborhood/community-centric Earth Day coverage, I had the honor of visiting the Manhattan headquarters of a woman who knows her way around a house, green or not: Martha Stewart.
To celebrate Earth Day’s big 4-0 and raise eco-awareness among New York City’s pint-sized, artistically bent population, Stewart’s Body + Soul (recently morphed into Whole Living) magazine teamed up with New York City public school nonprofit PENCIL for an Earth Day Poster Contest. Nine elementary schools throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan participated in the contest with each school picking a winning poster from each grade (one through five) to go on to the Earth Day "finals."  
At the finals — held at MSLO HQ in Chelsea’s historic Starrett-Lehigh Building — a winning poster was picked from each grade level after being judged by a panel that included the artist behind the original Earth Day poster, Martin Carey (also, coincidentally, the father of Martha Stewart Living food editor Sarah Carey), New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and Stewart herself. All of the finalists' posters, not just the winning five, were on display with many of the very excited artists — along with their parents and teachers — on-hand at the gathering. And since this was a Martha event, there were plenty of delicious nibbles to munch on including deviled eggs sourced from Stewart’s farm and an array of locally produced cheeses and veggies.
My favorite Earth Day poster was from PS 76 first grader Alyssa Brown. It wasn’t a winner but as a lover of abstract art, it really caught my eye. Plus, I loved the simplicity of the message: “Help Our Earth Get Better.”
Be sure to check out the inspiring work of all of the finalists over at the Whole Living website. How did school-aged kids in your neighborhood or community get into the Earth Day spirit?
Images: Matt except for second and third photos, Emily Kate Roemer

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Martha's Earth Day poster children
Martha's Stewart's Whole Living teams up with NYC public school organization PENCIL to sponsor a very special Earth Day Poster Contest.