Ella standing next to her tree she planted at Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain NC.

A project that happened in third grade at Black Mountain Primary has created new life, and recognition for rising sixth grader Ella Millwood. During Ella’s third grade year her teacher presented the class with a statewide contest to raise awareness about air pollution. Out of thousands of entries, Ella’s drawing won first place for the elementary school category. Her masterpiece was displayed on billboards across the state. However, her mission to make her community a better place did not stop there. 

“It felt crazy and shocking that my art won at the state level,” Ella said. “I didn’t even think that my artwork would be chosen for everyone to see. Because of this it inspired me to make my town a better place for years to come.”

Ella dreamed of taking this artwork to another level within her community. The idea of “Ella’s Clean Air Project” was born. With the help of her family, they came up with a project to raise money in order to plant new trees across Black Mountain. 

“We need more trees so that we can breathe,” she explained. “Some people are not helping the trees or an environment like they should. I wanted to plant more trees so we could have more oxygen.”

Ella’s father Bill Millwood said he is proud of his daughter's creativity and willingness to help our planet. 

“We are extremely proud of her,” he said. “Her artwork is still up on billboards across North Carolina. When she decided to plant trees we were all supportive of her dream. It was a lot of work, but well worth it in the end.” 

This year Ella begins her middle school journey at Charles D. Owen. She is excited to continue improving her art skills and is eagerly looking for the next big project to tackle. 

Photo Courtesy of Ella's Clean Air Project https://www.facebook.com/Ellas...

Ella raising money for her service project.