Thursday, March 12, 2015

Earth Day Essay Contest

What better way to usher in springtime than with an Earth Day essay contest? That’s exactly what we’re doing here at Cascadia. If you’re in grades 6-8 within Chelan or Douglas County, we think you should tell us about being a young environmental steward.

Sadly, we haven’t been able to put on the Earth Day essay contest since 2012. But this year we have sweet prizes from generous local businesses, an early spring for inspiration and a thought provoking prompt: How can a middle school student be an effective steward of the environment?

For added inspiration, here’s the winning essay from 2012. It was written by 7th grader Mariela Morales from Orchard Middle School. She was answering the question “What have you learned from Nature and why is what you've learned important?”

What’s damaging nature? Humans. If we say Earth is our mother, then nature is our sister. Nature teaches us how to survive in her. And we dig holes and drill out stuff from her insides, then burn them causing poisons to fill the atmosphere. That pollutes the air preventing the sun from shining on the fields properly. In nature I learned that you can be free whenever you like. But more importantly I have learned that our lifestyle causes a lot of damage.

We have killed off vast amounts of Earth’s ecology, turning what used to be delicate ecosystems into deserts. So, a question we all should be asking is: how can we help? Walk or bike instead of driving a car- a good walk is a conversation between the walker and the environment. A simple walk through nature can provide hope and inspiration. Plant trees- they absorb carbon dioxide. It sounds cliché but we must act now before it’s too late.
Nature is not only enchanting but healing too. Her pleasures may be plain, but are kindly and she’s native to us. She’s our friend and will provide. Nature is consistent, she’ll grow even when cut. Those who’ve harmed nature have had their day with her beauty; now let our children have theirs with her beauty that remains. If we consider how much we really belong to nature, we shouldn’t care so much for building cities. Nature helps us when we are sick and instead, we are making nature sick. Knowing that nature is part of our only home means knowing we have to take care of her.
Inspired? Often insight is gained through our more simple and innocent citizens- our children. In that vein, American Rivers created a most apt video illustrating a child’s love of rivers.
Entry Form

If you or someone you know would like to submit an essay, here are the particulars:
• The essays should be 500 words or less, size 12 Times New Roman font, and double-spaced.
• Typed essays are preferred, but hand written essays will be accepted provided they are legible.
• Word count should be included in the bottom, right corner of the essay.
• Essays must be turned in with completed entry form (pictured to the right)
• Sorry, electronic submissions will not be accepted.          
Essays are due Monday April 13, 2015. Essays postmarked April 14th or later will be disqualified.
• Winners will be announced on our website on April 22.
• Send or deliver essays to 14 N Mission St., Wenatchee, WA 98801

If you or someone you know still lacks the inspiration to put ink to paper and drop some stewardship knowledge, consider our awards for the top three entries: A day rafting the Wenatchee River with Orion River Expeditions and a hand painted field journal created by local artist Heather A. Wallis.

Today’s snowpack as a percent of average is a derisory 53% (USDA/NRCS National Water and Climate Center,