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By Kristin Kjaero


September 29, 2009 (La Mesa)-- “Be an Eco-Hero! Each person can make a difference and you can too.... Let your voice be heard!” read a sign at the City of La Mesa’s second annual Sustain La Mesa Environmental Festival. A number of young people showed they are well on the way to being eco-heroes and heroines, as they came to share what they know and make a difference.


High school volunteers arrived early to help set up booths, and worked throughout the event to provide information and assistance.


In the Our Planet, Our Home Environmental Literacy and Art Contest, 276 Kindergarten through Grade 12 students expressed their love of the environment and hopes for a clean future.


Their messages covered a wide range of issues from the more concrete, such as clean water and air, to picking up trash, to solar energy, to the more abstract, such as planting an idea and the interconnectedness of us to our world.


Anna Hedberg, grade 3, wrote an illustrated, acrostic poem expressing her love of trees because “they use carbon dioxide and give us oxygen, and so without trees we wouldn’t really be able to live,” she said. She wants people to plant trees, and said her favorite thing at the Festival was that they gave out flower seeds.


Katarina Schweitzer, Miss Teen La Mesa, spoke about the importance of preventing runoff in our yards, as it all ends up in the ocean.


Heather Murphy, grade 5, said the Festival was “a lot of fun,” and brought her artwork made with recycled materials to share. She emphasized the importance to reduce, reuse and recycle, giving the example that “we should reuse what we have, like water bottles.”


Heather’s mother, Cary Murphy, praised the Festival’s outreach to children. “It helps kids get a greater understanding of the larger world than just their household, and that the environment means something. I think seeing the different things that can be done, that we’re not always doing, is a very good lesson,” she said.





Jackson Scholl, Grade 4
The Earth is Our Home

Earth is our home
A great and wonderful place to be
A Rock that provides life
It is almost a utopia
It may be a rock, but it has many
Hearts on it
The earth is a beautiful piece of art

Let it last

Cassie Brewer, Grade 7
I’m Waiting………

I’m waiting, I’m waiting
For pollution to stop
I’m waiting, I’m waiting
For peace within people
I’m waiting, I’m waiting
For people to stop…
Polluting the air in which we breathe
I want the world to change
Love Your World-LYW

Bryson Collier, Grade 2

I am going to the moon to recycle.
Then I am going back to the ground.
Now Ill save the planet.

I am going to the moon to renew
The planet’s health from pollution.
Then I am going back to the ground.
Now the earth is safe.

Amber Gilmore See, Grade 5


Endless roads go around the world
And as we go we pick up litter
Reading every note that we see
The notes are about no more pollution
Here we are, back where we started
With paper that we will recycle

Andrew Parra, Grade 6

Endangered of pollution
Assistance of savior needed
Reject pollution
Think what will happen if it’s too late
Help save the Earth.

Anna Hedberg, Grade 3

Trailing around the world
Renewing the air with
Enough oxygen for all these people. Isn’t that

Jessica Baynes, Grade 7
How I See the World

The world is like a crystal ball,
And when you peer inside,
You notice the Earth is special,
Deep, far and wide.
People create continents,
Countries, borders, and laws,
To form a new world, a world without flaws.
But we tent to realize… we’re all just human beings,
And what counts comes from inside.
Because beneath our feet is the same earth,
Same planet, same wonderful things,
That make up our world just like you and me.
We all know nature, a tree, a stone, a river,
The sun that makes us warm,
The snow that makes us shiver,
The forests that are hushed, the oceans that roar,
The dolphins that swim, the eagles that soar.
Inside the Earth, there are many layers,
Like all our emotions – it’s only fair,
To treat one another, with kindness, to serve,
And to give them all the respect they deserve.

Oscar Rivera, Grade 2

I am a fish.
The sun is shining on me.
My scales are green.
I want to swim in a clean sea.
Pick up your trash to help
Keep my home clean!

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