Thanks to all who took part in the 2020 Experience Your Nature essay contest!

Congratulations to Alessandra Wilson, fourth grader of Lafayette, Colorado, who was chosen as winner of “Experience Your Nature” essay contest. 
Read the press release announcing the winner and enjoy Ms. Wilson's winning essay below. 

Quandary is Home

“I am going on a trip to Poudre Canyon!”

When I got out of the car, I took a deep breath and smelled the fresh pine. No longer was I afraid to breathe. When quarantine hit in March, we could not breathe freely. My world had tipped upside down because schools shut down, no more friends and family and no smiles underneath masks.

While crossing into the forest from Poudre Canyon, I plunged my feet into the cool, deep snow. I saw two deer that ran away out of sight from us.

A few weeks later, we went up to Breckenridge. We went hiking and saw foxes, moose and a bear. The foxes were curious about us, but we must run for our lives when we see a moose. We try to make ourselves big and scary when seeing a bear. Even if I could not learn in school, the forest taught me animal defensive traits and how to navigate!

Nature allowed me to enjoy family time in Telluride. We camped in the middle of an aspen grove with my Abuelita and Papo. The forest welcomed us with a bouquet of sweet smelling columbines, bluebells and Indian paintbrush.

 Why are Colorado’s forests so important to me? My Colorado forest brought me joy and made me feel free of my surroundings. So, when I am on my favorite hike in Breckenridge, I look at the tall, snow-capped mountain of Quandary, peeking over the treetops, and I know that Quandary is home.

Additional Details:
The essay contest was operated in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service’s “Every Kid Outdoors” initiative, which invites all U.S. fourth graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture. View the press release here.