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Local Students Earn Watershed Group Awards

May 21, 2004

For immediate release

The winners of the Sacramento River Watershed Program (SRWP) River of Words environmental art and poetry program have been awarded to school children throughout Northern California.

The River of Words contest, and its educator’s tools, encourages communities to explore the natural and cultural history of their own watersheds. Entries from K-12 students, within the 27,000 square mile Sacramento River watershed, were judged both on the national level and at the regional level. Winners earn a T-shirt and River of Words publications.

The Grand Prize for Art (K-3) was given to Derek Batt, a third grade student from Sierra View Elementary School in Chico. Selena Wrightson, also a third grader at Sierra View Elementary, earned the Grand Prize in Poetry (K-3)

The Grand Prize for Art (4-6) was given to sixth grader Jessie Walls, a Home School student from Oroville. Jessie also earned the Grand Prize for Poetry (4-6).

The Grand Prize for Art (7-9) was bestowed upon Jessica Audre Miller, an Independent Study student from Georgetown.

Pam Waldsmith, a third grade teacher at Sierra View Elementary School, has been named Teacher of the Year in the Sacramento River Watershed.

The Sacramento River Watershed Program, a not-for-profit public benefit organization, was initiated in February of 1996 to provide a forum to ensure that Sacramento River watershed resources are sustained, restored, and where possible, enhanced, while promoting the long-term social and economic vitality of the region. The SRWP consists of citizens, watershed organizations, environmental groups, farmers, ranchers, foresters, business groups, educators and government agencies at all levels.

For more information about the River of Words Program, contact the SRWP Education Coordinator, Allen Harthorn, at 530-879-0887,, or Interested teachers can obtain River of Words training and curriculum materials through the California Regional Environmental Education Community Network (CREEC).