Where Does Your Watershed Essay Contest

Contests for Young People

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. If you are in grades 4-12, you are eligible to enter the Letters About Literature reading and writing contest.

The 2016-2017 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.

River of Words

Look around you. See how your environment shapes the way you live and how you think about the world. Then write a poem or create a piece of art on what you discover. River of Words is an international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of Watersheds. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live and to express themselves through poetry and art. The contest is open to any child in the world, 5-19 years of age.

A Book That Shaped Me Summer Writing Contest

If you are a rising 5th or 6th grader and would like a chance to participate in the National Book Festival, think about entering the A Book That Shaped Me Summer Writing Contest, which encourages kids to reflect on a book that has made a personal impact on their lives. The contest is administered through local public library summer reading programs, and top winners are honored at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in September in Washington, DC.

2017 Winners

Sacramento, CA – The Caring for Our Watersheds proposal writing contest challenges students to research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern and come up with a realistic solution. Students with the top ten proposals of nearly 400 that were reviewed presented their ideas to a panel of community judges. First place is $1,000 cash to the winning team and $1,000 cash to the winning team’s school. In total, over $27,000 in prize and implementation money is available to students and schools who participate in the program. Finalists were from the following high schools: Colusa, Del Oro, Foresthill, Mira Loma, Pioneer, Rio Americano, and Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning. Caring for Our Watersheds is joint program of Nutrien and the Center for Land-Based Learning.

Jake Mann is proud to place first in the 2017 Caring for our Watersheds contest for his proposal to restore native vegetation on a heavily eroded section of stream bank along Secret Ravine Creek, a stream that is still host to spawning populations of Chinook Salmon and Steelhead. The plantings would help to stabilize the bank and reduce excess sediment delivery to the creek, thereby protecting aquatic habitat.

For first place in the contest, Jake won $1,000 for himself and $1,000 for his school, Del Oro High School. In total, students compete for over $6,000 cash rewards and participating schools are eligible for over $11,000 cash rewards. Nutrien also provides $10,000 in funding to help implement students’ ideas.

“The purpose of the contest is simple,” says Nutrien program advisor Lindsey Metheral. “Our goal is to encourage students to learn about their local watershed and be inspired to make improvements to the land, air and water. With community and school support, we have seen the creativity and determination students have for protecting and preserving the environment. It’s inspiring when they turn their ideas into reality.”

Each year more projects are implemented with the help of community resources and environmental organizations. Anyone who enters the contest is eligible for funding to complete his/ her project. “Seeing students implement their projects is truly impressive. Caring for Our Watersheds not only encourages youth-led ideas, but helps make them happen,” says Beth Del Real of Center for Land-Based Learning.

To schedule a media interview, please contact Beth Del Real directly at 530.795.1544.

Final Results (below)

Final PlaceAwardTeam MembersProposal NameSchool
1st$1000Jake MannSecret Ravine Erosion ControlDel Oro High School
2nd$900Jacy UhlerParking Lot BioswalesDel Oro High School
3rd$800Adrianna AbeleCombat Colony Collapse: Establishing Bee HabitatsColusa High School
4th$700Grace Sanders, Jenna Freeland, Luke Godon, Maya HopeStop the Bark Beetle Infestation!Foresthill High School
5th$600Madelyn Wordelman, Bridget Pelzman, Brandon Stellina, Fox Del PapaDown the DrainForesthill High School
6th$500Mia BelluominiGlobal WormingSierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning
7th$450Reese FarrellBattery RecyclingMira Loma High School
8th$400Sai KambampatiProtecting Purple MartinsMira Loma High School
9th$350Jennifer Su, Elie Wu

Grady Flamm

Keep Water in the BankRio Americano High School
10th$300Yeimi Navas

Madelyn Wagner

Native Plant/ Rain gardenPioneer High School

2016 Winners

Sacramento, CA – The Caring for Our Watersheds proposal writing contest challenges students to research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern and come up with a realistic solution.

Students with the top ten proposals of over 400 that were reviewed presented their ideas to a panel of community judges. First place is $1,000 cash to the winning team and $1,000 cash to the winning team’s school. In total, over $27,000 in prize and implementation money is available to students and schools who participate in the program. Finalists were from the following high schools: Colusa, Florin, Foresthill, George Washington Carver, Mira Loma, Rio Americano, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, and Valley. Caring for Our Watersheds is a joint program of Nutrien and the Center for Land-Based Learning.

Taylor Lowery is proud to place first in the 2016 Caring for our Watersheds contest for her proposal to plant native vegetation along a bare area of her school’s cross-country course to reduce erosion and sediment delivery to Owl Creek. Excess sediment can degrade stream habitat.  Her plantings will stabilize soil, slow runoff and trap sediment, while providing additional wildlife habitat.

For first place in the contest, Taylor won $1,000 for herself and $1,000 for her school, Foresthill.  In total, students compete for over $6,000 cash rewards and participating schools are eligible for over $11,000 cash rewards. Nutrien also provides $10,000 in funding to help implement students’ ideas.

“The purpose of the contest is simple,” says Nutrien program advisor Lindsey Metheral. “Our goal is to encourage students to learn about their local watershed and be inspired to make improvements to the land, air and water. With community and school support, we have seen the creativity and determination students have for protecting and preserving the environment. It’s inspiring when they turn their ideas into reality.”

Each year more projects are implemented with the help of community resources and environmental organizations. Anyone who enters the contest is eligible for funding to complete his/ her project.  “Seeing students implement their projects is truly impressive. Caring for Our Watersheds not only encourages youth-led ideas, but helps make them happen,” says Beth Del Real of Center for Land-Based Learning.

To schedule a media interview, please contact Beth Del Real directly at 530.795.1544

Final PlaceAwardTeam MembersProposal NameSchool
1st$1000Taylor LowerySediment Barrier: Reducing Sediment Delivery to Owl CreekForesthill High School
2nd$900Mia BelluominiTrash-a-thon: A Fundraiser Supporting Education and the EnvironmentSierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning
3rd$800Marjorie MillerRiparian Restoration at Mammoth BarForesthill High School
4th$700Ravina SidhuAquaponics System for RestorationMira Loma High School
5th$600Tamana GillCarpooling App for Mira LomaMira Loma High School
6th$500Brook GallagherThe Problem with Single Use BottlesColusa High School
7th$450Alyssa GnosArt DrainGeorge Washington Carver High School
8th$400Noah Wallace, Jacob Gerigk, Nathan ShaldoneFlushing Away Water WasteRio Americano High School
9th$350Hieu Khong, Hoang Tran, Dang Nguyen, Minh TranWatershed MuralsFlorin High School
10th$300Peter Fang, Vue YangConverting Lawns into GardensValley High School

2015 Winners

Sacramento, CA – The Caring for Our Watersheds proposal writing contest challenges students to research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern and come up with a realistic solution. Students with the top ten proposals of over 395 that were reviewed presented their ideas to a panel of community judges. First place is $1,000 cash to the winning team and $1,000 cash to the winning team’s school. In total, over $27,000 in prize and implementation money is available to students and schools who participate in the program. Finalists were from the following high schools: Colusa, Christian Brothers, Da Vinci, Foresthill, George Washington Carver, Mira Loma, and Rio Americano. Caring for our Watersheds is a joint program of Nutrien and the Center for Land-Based Learning.

Brian Shan is proud to place first in the 2015 Caring for our Watersheds contest for his proposal to install aerators on faucets in his school. Faucet aerators deliver a mixture of water and air, limiting how much water is released while maintaining pressure and reducing splashing. The aerators, relatively inexpensive and easy to install, help conserve water and reduce energy use and costs.

For first place in the contest, Shan won $1,000 for himself and $1,000 for his school, Mira Loma.  In total, students compete for over $6,000 cash rewards and participating schools are eligible for over $11,000 cash rewards. Nutrien also provides $10,000 in funding to help implement students’ ideas.

 

Final PlaceAwardTeam MembersProposal NameSchool
1st$1000Brian ShanFaucet AeratorsMira Loma High School
2nd$900Marjorie MillerSediment BarrierForesthill High School
3rd$800Alexa BryanBioswalesForesthill High School
4th$700Ashley RomanSaving the Monarch ButterflyColusa High School
5th$600Alexis McQuearyThe Benefits of Vertical Gardening in an Urban WorldGeorge Washington Carver High School
6th$500Victoria Marsh, Sophia Cook-PhillipsOlivia the Otter Teaches about WaterGeorge Washington Carver High School
7th$450Fallon McMahon Victoria Moore, Annie VierraPaper Towels vs. Hand DryerChristian Brothers High School
8th$400Amarah AnwarWater Bottle Filling StationsMira Loma High School
9th$350Allison Farrar, Gracie Berry, Peter CarlipRemoval of Invasive Plant SpeciesDaVinci High School
10th$300ElDar Razumeyko, Samantha Koire, Bryant JohnsonH20 SaverRio Americano High School

2014 Winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacramento, CA – Sacramento area high school students presented their proposals at the final competition of the Caring for Our Watersheds (CFW) contest – a joint program of Nutrien and the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL). 2014 finalists were from the following high schools: Colusa, Antelope, Mira Loma, George Washington Carver, Valley, and Tokay. Over 330 proposals were received from Grades 9-12 students who answered the question, “What can you do to improve your watershed?” Students researched their local watershed, identified an environmental concern and came up with a realistic solution. Finalists gave presentations to a panel of community judges and all received cash awards.

Julie Fukunaga is proud to place first in the 2014 Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) contest for her proposal, Autonomous Solar-Powered Boat for Algae Control, which provides an innovative alternative to using chemicals for algae-control in small water bodies.  Algal blooms are caused by overload of nitrogen and phosphates into an aquatic system. The rapid increase of algae and subsequent decay can result in hypoxic conditions and potential fish kills. Her project and device seek to address existing algae problems in more environmentally-friendly and cost effective way.

As a result of her efforts, Fukunaga won $1,000 for herself and $1,000 for her school, Tokay High School, for first place in the contest. . In total, students compete for over $6,000 cash rewards and participating schools are eligible for over $11,000 cash rewards. Nutrien also provides $10,000 in funding to help implement students’ ideas.

 

Final Place

Award

Team Members

Proposal Name

School

1st

$1000

Julie Fukunaga

Autonomous Solar-Powered Boat for Algae Control

Tokay High School

2nd

$900

Taylor Davies

Use the Drip and Drop the Drought

Colusa High School

3rd

$800

Nicholas Moresco

Fins and Farms

Colusa High School

4th

$700

Emerald Johnson,

Zoe Phillips

Demonstrating the Benefits of Pervious Concrete

George Washington Carver High School

5th

$600

Lynnee Jacks

Rainwater Collection- Rain barrels

Antelope High School

6th

$500

Jennifer Pulido,

Gabrielle Garcia

Landscape for Water Conservation

Colusa High School

7th

$450

Emma Forester

Nurturing Native Bees

Antelope High School

8th

$400

Sabrina Sullivan

Creating a Rain Garden

Mira Loma High School

9th

$350

Dimitri Moua

Eco-Friendly Showerheads

Mira Loma High School

10th

$300

Judy Phu, Asia Xiong,

Jamilah Ahmach-Antolin

Water Conservation Education

Valley High School

2013 Winners

Thank you to all of the 2013 students, teachers and volunteers who participated. Over 280 proposals were submitted from area high school students. In the final verbal competition on April 13, 2013, the top contestants presented their project ideas on how to improve their local watershed.

Dayna Berry is proud to place first in the 2013 Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) contest for her idea to replace non-native roses around her school’s stadium with a diversity of plants native to California. The native plantings, adapted to the local climate, would not require long-term irrigation or pesticides and would also provide a habitat and food source for local birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

As a result of her efforts, Berry won $1,000 for herself and $1,000 for her school, Antelope High School, for first place in the contest.


Turning ideas into realistic solutions is the key to improving our local watersheds.

Congratulations Top Ten Finalists!

Final PlaceAwardTeam MembersProposal NameSchool
1st$1000Dayna BerryRemoving the ThornsAntelope High School
2nd$900Isabella Escoto, Laura Cruz, Tha Vue, Maribel MunozWatershed Ambassadors Outreach ProgramFlorin High School
3rd$800Jennifer BarnesVermicompostingRio Americano High School
4th$700Guadalupe Ramos, Sidney WillsDestructive TiresColusa High School
5th$600Ruby Dunham, Kyle CervantesAn Alternate RodenticideColusa High School
6th$500Stephanie Coker-PutmanCreek Education and Clean-UpAntelope High School
7th$450Tavneet Kaur GillThe Effects of Commercial Soap on Our WatershedAntelope High School
8th$400Nekayla Smith, Justine Cortez, Daschneel NaickerSchool CompostingValley High School
9th$350Preethi RajuGoodbye Invasive SpeciesMira Loma High School
10th$300Scott Sturges, Dominic Tullo, Ty PatrickHabitat Restoration and Wood Duck ConservationChristian Brothers High School

Thank you participating students and teachers!

The Center for Land-Based Learning hosts this contest in California. If you are interested in participating in or supporting the next contest, contact us at (530)795-1544.

www.landbasedlearning.org

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