Winners Announced for the 2022 National Forest Week Poetry Contest

To celebrate National Forest Week (NFW) 2022, the Canadian Institute of Forestry invited youth to participate in the 1st Annual NFW Poetry Contest.

We received a number of entries demonstrating impressive creativity, expression and imagination. The Contest theme was: “How do forests connect with the world, your local community, and/or yourself?”

After careful review, we are pleased to announce the winners per age category and province/territory:

  • Abigail Gallego (Grade 10, Manitoba)
  • Tyson Redden (Grade 11, Nova Scotia)
  • Sarah Pace (Grade 12, Ontario)

Read their poems below!


How do forests connect with the world, your local community, and/or yourself?

 

By Abigail Gallego (Grade 10, Manitoba)

From within these towers, I hide.
Leaves shelter me from the storms above,
The bark, my home, and my dwelling.
The forest hides me from the outside.

The seasons may change my forest,
But it will never leave me alone.
Creatures within shall be my brood.
They shall linger, even in my rest.

The creatures come and go, and trees may fall.
Whatever may happen, I will hold it near.
It will not faulter, no matter the squall.
To all in my dear forest, please preserver.


 

By Tyson Redden (Grade 11, Nova Scotia)

The Purpose

The forest is full of plants and life,
Hidden among the trees,
There we find the way of life and what it really means,
The forest is filled with essential items,
That every human needs,
From shelter, water and food, to medicine for bad knees,
For thousands of years we use the forest,
And we still do to this day,
Without the trees among the forest,
Us humans could not breathe,
We take it all for granted,
As it connects us all,
From North America to Africa,
The forests all stand tall,
And when Autumn comes around the leaves begin to fall,
Without the forests I couldn’t live,
Or see the things I’ve seen,
The forest it always provides for us,
No matter age, gender, or race,
The forest is always there for us,
Thriving in its space,
From food on our table,
To the wood in which we burn,
The forest plays a massive role,
In peace and life on Earth.


 

By Sarah Pace (Grade 12, Ontario)

The Silent Sentries of the Earth

The golden blood of the earth beating
Steadily, through their veins, flowing
To the branches and the leaves; meeting
The eternal sky and winds; ever blowing.

Silent witnesses to the ceaseless hustle-bustle
Of the noisy, illuminated world down below.
Whispers passing among them in their leaves’ rustle,
As year after year, determinedly, their trunks grow.

Silent sentries standing guard, watching over us,
Exhaling essential oxygen in gentle, oft ignored sighs,
Inhaling the toxic gases we release; without a fuss.
Yet never a one merits a mourning glance when it dies.

Their memory stretches beyond our own
To those times only ever imagined by humanity,
To those times which can never be truly known,
But are locked within their trunk-en hearts, in simplicity.

They take our beatings and our killings,
They build our houses and fuel our fires,
They hold our forts for children’s playing,
And they never once bemoan their funeral pyres.

 


A sincere thank you to everyone who entered our 1st Annual NFW Youth Poetry Contest. We received a number of entries demonstrating impressive creativity, expression and imagination. Stay tuned for the next NFW Poetry Contest in 2023!