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Kids Lead the Way to a Sustainable Future

By Kristin Kjaero

October 12, 2010 (La Mesa) -- East County Magazine extends congratulations to the winners of the second annual “Our Planet, Our Home” Grade K-12 Environmental Literacy and Art Contest.

The contest is a cooperative effort of the City of La Mesa Environmental Sustainability Commission, the La Mesa Library, and the La Mesa – Spring Valley School District. More than 225 entries were received.

The winning pieces will be on display at the La Mesa Library for one month, starting at the end of this week.


To read more about the "Sustain La Mesa" Environmental Festival, read our companion piece here.

Setting a Good Example
By Courtney Pillar, Grades K-2 Poetry, First Place

I will pick up trash
And throw it in the trash
To keep clean
By setting a good example
You should do it
So it is not dirty
Like some people want it to be
And make bad people good

The Earth
Isaac Laddon, Grades K-2 Poetry, Second Place

The earth is an awesome place
And it’s important for the human race.
There are birds and squirrels, rabbits and frogs.
Please don’t make all our trees into logs.
The earth likes recycling.

Kaci Gora, Grade 3-5 Poetry, First Place

Stop – Stop – Stop killing me!
I’m a little dolphin as little as can be.
I’m just a small part of the ocean, can’t you see?
As I swim through the dark I try to stay calm.
These objects swarm,
And I squirm to free my fins
As I try to get some garbage bins.
This isn’t fair because of man
I’m swimming in my very own trash can.

It Starts With You
By Camryn Henry, Grades 3-5 Poetry, Second Place

You can plant flowers, vegetables and trees
To help the Earth stay green.
You can recycle paper, plastic, cardboard and cans
You must run to the chance to make the world grand.
Just give it a hand
Or even a good plan
To love the Earth
And give it some worth.
Maybe you will get an award if you help Earth out
And then you can show what its all about.
So run to the chance and lend a helping hand
To make the world, oh-so grand.

Beautiful Dreams
Ariana Adamson, Grades 3-5 Poetry, Honorable Mention

I dream of… grass as green as a garden frog.
Grass swaying in the clean wind.
Healthy fish swim in diamond clear water.
But how can this dream come true?
Pick up trash and recycle.
After we do that, our planet will be as beautiful
As my dreams.

Save Our Planet and Our Home!
Tia Saunders, Grades 3-5 Poetry, Honorable Mention

Save the earth
Don’t destroy the turf.
Come on people it’s your home and your planet,
Don’t pollute it unless you want to can it.
Don’t pollute the water, if you don’t know we drink from that.
Don’t treat earth like a doormat!
So people don’t pollute our planet, our home, and our environment.
Taking care of it is your requirement.
Everyday more and more people are polluting
places like beaches, playgrounds and parks.
Come on people that’s not smart!
But when too many people start to pollute,
it could ruin our air and endanger our fruit!
Kids might fall and get cut on a piece of glass,
or slip on a banana peel and land in the grass.
So instead of throwing away that old trash,
recycle it and earn some quick cash.
Don’t throw your trash on the curb
Because it will end up in the sewer and the eco system will be disturbed.
The ocean could end, sea animals will die,
Fishes will choke, and the rest of them will cry
If people start to pollute even more than our tiny beautiful world,
There will be more and more fires and things will become unfurled.
Here’s the last line, don't waste your time,
Get off the couch and get a pouch,
To pick up trash and earn that cash.
Save our planet and our home!

In the Darkness of the City
Hannah Carney, Grades 6-8 Poetry, First Prize

I am the uncleanness of the city,
I am left behind with trash,
People just don’t seem to care anymore,
They have no idea what the world has for them,
Gas, pollution, smog, and smoke…I am the dark city.

I am the ignorance of the city
Gosh, people these days…
Don’t seem to care about their streets, lakes or oceans,
I think they don’t believe in trashcans,
Not even a recycling bin…I am the dark city.

I am the brightness of the city,
I am the next generation of green children,
We will turn this around and make things right,
We are the one and only world,
Now lets make the best of it,
I am the brightness that can and will turn,

Amy Schwartz, Grades 6-8 Poetry, Second Place

If you recycle you can save the world.
If you recycle you will be a hero to Mother Earth.
One bottle at a time we can make a difference.
In 1998
There were 8,000 landfills in the United States.
In 2007
There were 1,754 landfills in the United States.
A portion of our nation is making a difference and recycling.
We need the ENTIRE population to reduce the amount of waste dumped in
Everyday, a person can create 4.7 pounds of waste!
Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
We must take care of earth now, so it won’t look like a giant trashcan in
100 years.
The animals that live on the land and in the water
Are depending on us!
We must keep the oceans, rivers, lakes and streams clean.
To help the environment
Start composting.
To help the environment
Take reusable cloth bags when you shop.
To help the environment
Take the time to pick up trash you see on the beach or curb.
Recycling reduces the needs for landfills.
Since 1997 communities across the country have celebrated
America Recycles Day
November 15th
Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
Please recycle and make a difference in the world.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Hannah Kleit, Grades 6-8 Poetry, Honorable Mention

Don’t pick the flowers
They should live for more than one hour.

Because soon you see
A stack of paper that once was a tree.

So stop and smell the flowers
And car four our planet that forever will be ours.

To See the Stars
Kaley Jenkins, Grades 9-12 Poetry, First Place

In my daily cycle I see people throw trash on the ground, hear about people poaching animals, feel the amount of oxygen decrease from lack of trees. I think about these people’s futures, their children’s futures. How many of them won’t be able to swim in the lakes or be on the beaches their grandparents played in? How many of them won’t be able to witness the miracle of the millions of species that are not extinct? How many of them will suffer diseases like lung cancer because of the amount of fossil fuels in our atmosphere, or even see the stars? What hurts the most is that all of this could have been prevented. With a little effort from the human race we could all be able to live a little more, see much more, and breathe a little easier. But it is too late for that. We must work now. To decrease the mess we have made. To try to fix a problem we have caused. If we are lucky, we will succeed in creating the life our grandparents had, for our grandchildren.

Every Precious Drop

Davina Magracia, Grades 9-12 Poetry, Second Place

A leaf
flowing down its spine a dew drop falls
the leaf bends with the falling drop
trying to hang on to the
precious drop.

The leaf cant
hold on
the drop falls.

Bobbing up and down the leaf
sobs at its loss
tiny tears flying off
the soft green leaf.

Time moves on.

Day after day
the leaf reaches
reaching for where
its little treasure fell.

It seems hopeless.

Bit by bit
the leaf gets
closer to its
seemingly hopeless goal.

The strain shows
each day the leaf loses
its green
its beauty
its former glow.

Colors seep through the leaf
yellow, red, orange, and brown.

The leaf pulls against the branch
feeling itself tear
little by little
it falls.

Carried by the wind
it twists and turns
trying to find its treasure.

It lands.

The leaf lands where
its treasure fell
so long ago.

the leaf discovers
the dew drop is gone.

It’s not there.

Despair floods the leaf
deep brown floods its veins
life trickling out
from the leaf.
The leaf is no more.

Dark, dry, filled with despair
the leaf is only debris.

A shadow looms overhead
a large dark mass
comes closer

The leaf is crushed

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