Caring for our Watersheds

2018 Winners

Winners Announced for Youth Environmental Proposal Contest

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 460 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: Christian Brothers, Colusa, Foresthill, Lodi, Mira Loma, Pioneer, Rio Americano, River City, and Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning. Caring for Our Watersheds is joint program of Nutrien and the Center for Land-Based Learning.

caring for watersheds finalists

caring for watersheds finalists

Photo Credits: Photos of all finalists by Nate Eckler.

Nayana Venukanthan is proud to place first in the 2018 Caring for our Watersheds contest for her proposal to initiate a recycling drive in the community for compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs contain mercury, which poses a threat to aquatic organisms, wildlife and humans. Recycling CFLs can prevent the release of mercury into the environment and allow for the reuse of the glass, metals and other materials.

For first place in the contest, Nayana won $1,000 for herself and $1,000 for her school, Mira Loma 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 Verhaeghe. "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.

Caring for Watersheds contest 1st Place Winner
Photo of presentation of first place check (from left): Mary Kimball (Center for Land-Based Learning), Nayana Venukanthan (1st place winner), Phil Mullins(Nutrien). Photo by Melissa Uroff.

The full press release can be read here:
Caring for our Watersheds 2017 Final Competition Press Release [PDF]

To schedule a media interview, contact Beth Del Real at (530) 795-1544.

Special thanks to Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for sponsorship of the 2016-2018 CFW Final Competition and Awards Banquet!

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Media Contacts:

Beth Del Real, Coordinator
Center for Land-Based Learning
(530) 795-1544

Lindsey Metheral, Program Advisor
(403) 225-7782

For more information please visit: Caring for our Watersheds

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