This spring, fifth graders at Sand Lake Elementary were invited to participate in a FOR78 Pilot Nature Writing Contest to share their experiences of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge. They wrote poems and personal narratives and on June 2nd, awards were presented at the school assembly by Refuge Manger Tim Miller and FOR78 Board member Ruth Davis.
On June 17th, the first prize winners, Autumn (personal narrative) and Emma (poetry), and their parents enjoyed a 2-hour interpretive cruise with Ranger Katie on beautiful Lake Onalaska aboard the S.S. Squirrel, a pontoon board owned and operated by the North American Squirrel Association (N.A.S.A.). Other prizes included Ranger Rick subscriptions and gift certificates for the nature store. The student writings were inspiring and will be posted on the Prairie Wind Nature Store bulletin board in the Visitor Center – please come take a look after July 15.
A special thank you to the teachers of Sand Lake Elementary – Mrs. Hoscheit, Mr. O'Neill, and Mr. Schollmeier for engaging the students; Captain Penny Becker for piloting the boat, Kwik Trip for providing the fuel, and N.A.S.A. for providing the boat free of charge.