Contestants participated as individuals or in teams to demonstrate their knowledge of forest ecology by putting their skills to the test with activities such as identifying trees, forest insects, and wildlife, interpreting topographic map symbols, using a compass, measuring the amount of merchantable wood in a tree, and answering questions related to forest ecosystems and management.
In addition to the skills competition, the 4-H Nature Poetry Contest winners were also announced at the event.
More information about the Florida 4-H Forest Ecology Contest can be found here.
Congratulations to the finalists of the 2022 Florida 4-H Forest Ecology Contest:
2nd Place: Olivia W., Okeechobee County
3rd Place: Charlotte W. Pinellas County
1st Place: Pinellas County – Charles W., Charlotte T., Margaret T., Charlotte W.
2nd Place: Marion County – Addalyn U., Jacob M., Madison W.
3rd Place: Leon County – Joycelynn G., Lila S., Maribel K., Samuel L.
1st Place: Jeremiah C., Marion County
2nd Place: Mathias E., Alachua County
3rd Place: Emmerson R., Pinellas County
1st Place: Marion County – Jeremiah C., Cora T., Ada Perryman., Joshua M.
2nd Place: Alachua County – Analy E., Layla B., Mathias E., William P.
3rd Place: Pinellas County – Victoria T., Wesley W., Wyatt G., Annalise W.
1st Place: Abigail P., Alachua County ((also received a $500 renewing scholarship from the UF School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences if she majors in a SFFGS program.)
2nd Place: Lydia S., Marion County
1st Place: Alachua County – Benjamin W., Carolyn W., Kaity E., Abigail P. (Will compete in the 2022 National Contest in West Virginia in July)
2nd Place: Marion County – Abree P., Caroline C., Lane T., Lydia S.
3rd Place: Pinellas County – Christian H., Jocelyn W., Miriam W.
4-H Nature Poetry Contest
1st Place: Emma H., Manatee County, “A Bird’s Florida Vacation”
2nd Place: Margaret T., Pinellas County, “Mangrove Wonderland”
3rd Place: Amelia Z., Hillsborough County, “The Boring Beetle”
Honorable Mention: Eden W., Sumter County, “Beautiful Butterfly”
Junior First Place – Emma H., Manatee County
“A Bird’s Florida Vacation”
In Florida’s winter, no snow is found,
And people and birds to us flock.
Cranes trumpet calls as they circle around
As black crows in trees jeer and mock.
Little cardinals cheep and chatter,
Coming to my doorstep with glee.
Woodpeckers peck with quite a clatter
As blue jays caution in the tree.
Large birds also do migrate down,
While others are quite hard to see,
An osprey, flying in the clouds,
Soars wild and so utterly free.
One emerges from the river,
In his talons, a piece of meat.
Fish flops around with a quiver,
What a tasty, silvery treat.
But most numerous of all
Are the fowl without wing.
They drive south in the fall
And back north in the spring.
Florida! a home of the many,
Where birds joyfully tweet and sing.
They stay warm and cozy in winter
Then bid us farewell in the spring.
1st Place: Skye B., Duval County, “Rhythm Recurring”
2nd Place: Sienna B., Duval County, “A Plastic World”
3rd Place: Anabelle Scarlett B., Okaloosa County, “Crickets at Night”
Honorable Mention: Katherine R., Duval County, “Ecosystem Engineers”
Intermediate First Place – Skye B., Duval County
Gather, gather, manatees gentle, rendezvous in warmer waters
Welcome, welcome, little calves, newborn right whale sons and daughters
Hatch, hatch, eagles bald, in your massive nests, atop the trees
Bloom, bloom, red maple flowers, send a wake-up call to the sleeping bees
Flower, flower, redbuds of east, an explosion of pink adorns bare trees
Nibble, nibble, swallowtails of young, on tuliptree leaves that sway in the breeze
Come out, come out, bobcat elusive, begin your quest to find a mate
Weave, weave, hummingbirds, webs, moss, and twigs into a nest ornate
Peek, peek, armadillos four, venture into the cool left by recent rain
Paddle, paddle, sea turtle hatchlings, follow light of the moon to a new domain
Flutter, flutter, butterflies atala, lay eggs amongst coontie’s points, green fronds
Drum, drum, pounding rain, storm lightning flashes—thunder responds
Flee, flee, butterflies royal, follow the sun to groves of fir
Scurry, scurry, squirrels so grey, seek and hide food in a blur
Wake, wake, bears black, eat night and day, then next season digest
Open, open, violet sweet, late blooming snack before winter’s rest
1st Place: Miriam W., Pinellas County, “A Songbird’s Lament”
2nd Place: Zachary A., Pinellas County, “Vulture Culture”
3rd Place: Ryan C., Escambia County, “Our Ancient Friend”
Honorable Mention: Hannah A., Palm Beach County, “Water”
Honorable Mention: Benjamin S., Leon County, “Viridiation”
Senior First Place – Miriam W., Pinellas County
“A Songbird’s Lament”
There once was a songbird named Joyce
Who was cursed with a horrible voice
What came from her beak
Was an unpleasant squeak
Her silence made others rejoice
She hoped lessons would end all the jeers
And cicadas had vocal careers
Her dreams were soon quelled
Because class would be held
Only once every seventeen years
The whales could make her less strange
So a meeting she tried to arrange
But she sang much too high
And stayed up in the sky
She was doubly out of their range
She had failed to find an instructor
So she settled for choir conductor
This launched a diatribe
Which was hushed by her bribe
And the choir was convinced to induct her