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Engage in conservation through poetry

BY Randy Zellers

ON 04-29-2020


April 29, 2020

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

FORT SMITH — The Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center is hosting a special contest for aspiring writers and conservationists in May: a special poetry contest focused on conservation and the environment. Winners will be featured in the September/October issue of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s award-winning magazine, Arkansas Wildlife.

The contest is the brainchild of Danielle Simmons, education program specialist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at the nature center.

“We normally are so busy working with school groups here at the center, but the issues with COVID-19 have forced us to close to the public,” Simmons said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t continue to help teachers with interesting material for their students that helps spread the conservation message.”

Three grade brackets are available for entries: Kindergarten-6th grade, 7th-9th grade, and 10th-12th grade. Any youth in the proper age range for these grades may participate in the contest.

“We want to make sure the contest helps teachers and homeschoolers with some of their required concepts, so each poem will need to meet a few requirements,” Simmons said. “It must be six lines or sentences long, must include one component of alliteration (repetitive sounds in closely arranged words) and one component of onomatopoeia (words that spell out the sound they make). Of course, it also needs to include something about hunting, fishing, litter pickup, planting native gardens or another conservation-minded subject.”

Entries will be judged by Jeff Adams with the Fort Smith Commissary Kiwanis Club, Jenn Jennings with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith’s STEM department and Sandy Berger, former president of the Arkansas Audubon Society.

The deadline for submission is June 1, 2020. Entries may be submitted through the following Google form:

Contact Simmons at for more information.

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