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2017 Student Poetry Contest Winners

As part of Wetlands Week, the CPRA and 4-H Youth Wetlands Program sponsored a poetry contest for students. This year’s theme was: “Louisiana’s Coast: Our Unique Culture”

Thank you to the hundreds of students from around the state who took the time to craft wonderful, heartfelt poems, and congratulations to this year’s winners.

Click each winner’s name to view his or her poem.

Upper Elementary Division
Place Name Age City
1st Lane Barton Deville 7 Elmer, La.
2nd Christopher Morrison 10 Boyce, La.
3rd Nicolyna Bolgiano 11 Angie, La.
Middle School Division
Place Name Age City
1st Hayden Viguerie 13 Baton Rouge, La.
2nd Marissa Walker 12 Baton Rouge, La.
3rd Melanie Navarro 11 Baton Rouge, La.
High School Division
Place Name Age City
1st Alanna “Paige” Colston 16 Many, La.
2nd Weston Cormier 16 Erath, La.
3rd George Mainous 16 Shreveport, La.

1st Place Upper Elementary
Sportsman’s Paradise
By: Lane Barton

We have birds,
We have fish,
We have boats,
And we have a wish.
To protect our coast
From nature and man,
We need to act fast
To save our land.
Our coast provides us
With many things
Food, jobs,
And shelter it brings.
If it disappears
We will lose so much
But if we protect the coast
We protect us.


2nd Place Upper Elementary
Louisiana’s Heart And Soul
By: Christopher Morrison

Visiting the Louisiana coast
Is the place I love to go the most.

Take me to Holly Beach, Cameron, or even Grand Isle
Seeing those sights are sure to make me smile.

You can sit me on the shoreline
Or in front of fresh gulf shrimp to dine.

I love to trek through the marsh
But what is happening down south is harsh.

We are slowly losing our coast
And before long our banks could disappear like a ghost.

No fishin’ at Cypremort Point, no swamp tours through Bayou Teche
Living in Louisiana without those things just do not mesh.

The heart of Cajun Country is south of I-10
And this is where most of our state resources begin.

Fishin’, shrimpin’, crabbin’ that’s their heart and soul
So let’s save our coast and let the Good Times Roll!


3rd Place Upper Elementary
The Swamp
By: Nicolyna Bolgiano

The swamp is a sponge to my home,
cleaning the waters for which I love to roam.
The swamp is a sponge to my home,
preventing the land from being all gone.
The swamp is a special place where excess
river waters can go, and a safe place for
crawfish and alligators to stow.
The swamp is a sight to see
with a curtain of moss on the old live oak tree.
The swamp is abundant with fishing which is why,
The swamp is where you can find me.


1st Place Middle School
Our Coast
By: Hayden Viguerie

Why is our coast going away?
Levees are making the Mississippi stay,
To me this is not okay.
Set her free, get rid of the levee!

Now she can’t deposit soil,
Causing the coast to spoil.
And disappear like a grown man’s hair,
That is why our coast is bare.

The coast provides a home,
To plants and animals in the biome.
The coast is such a great place
Hopefully there’ll still be space.

There still is some hope,
We just need to devote
Our time and money.
This situation is not funny.

We need to help the coast
Because no to boast…
But Louisiana is a big deal,
And our situation, it is real.

I love my home,
And want to protect it,
Along with other areas affected.


2nd Place Middle School
Ode to the coastal wetlands: Oh, let them not disappear!
By: Marissa Walker

All hail to our Louisiana coastal wetlands
Where different species of animals call their home
A land so beautiful and important to our state
Will they live or die or become extinct?
Oh, let them not disappear!

From marshes to protect us against hurricanes and flooding
To dark swamps along the Gulf-bound rivers
For you at risk, slowly fading away
For what will we do without you?
Oh, let them not disappear!

When you are all gone
Where will I get the crabs, lobster, shrimp or fish?
Some of my favorite seafood to make my favorite dish
We must take a stand to save this precious land
Oh, what beautiful coastal wetland!
Oh, let them not disappear!


3rd Place Middle School
Louisiana’s Coast
By: Melanie Navarro

Shining rays of sunlight,
reflect gold in the water.
As a great pelican soars high,
surveying all below.
The gentle flow of water,
completes the scene at
Louisiana’s coast.

Mighty egrets peck,
at the water, hoping
to catch a fish. Everything
is just as it should be, until.
Habitats start to flood. With
the water gradually rising,
higher and higher. Animals
start to scurry away in fear at
Louisiana’s coast.

Fisherman are preparing to
dock their boats at the coast.
But, they have lost their path.
Their navigation route has
been faded away, because
of the erosion occurring at
Louisiana’s coast.

Coastlines are special to
Louisiana, but are leaving.
Habitats are being abolished,
the deep and rich culture is starting
to be forgotten. Together we can work,
to protect the beautiful,
Louisiana coast.


1st Place High School
I Am Life
By: Alanna “Paige” Colston

I was birthed years ago from the Mississippi River
Sprouts of life and flowing water to deliver
My bones provide a fortress for nature.
Why do humans cause me danger?
The plants I possess benefit for all.
What causes me to be treated so small?
I provide protection from storms that kill millions.
Can someone help me gain resilience?
I have been changed and transformed.
Bound by humans to conform.
Wildlife depends on me.
When will the time come when I can be set free?
I need salvation from this constant strife.
I am more than a wetland.
I am life.


2nd Place High School
Nature’s Call: An Ode to Louisiana’s Coast
By: Weston Cormier

This state,
These people,
Good times aplenty
— But something lies overlooked by many

The coast I am the life-blood
Made for more than money
Though plagued by flood
I stay sweet, like honey

Plentiful critters
And furred
Live within Me
In brush and burr

These creatures you seek
By boat and hunting party
But is all of this a ploy?
To sit back and do nothing is to destroy

Water may rise
And the winds may call
But here I Am, persistent through it all

Oh, how it pains Me to see you do nothing

So people, My people
Focus, change is so simple
One turns to ten and then into hundreds

Rise to My challenge
My heroes, you save Me!
With actions so gallant
Rebuild me, Remake me

Without you, I thrive, because I too am alive


3rd Place High School
Please Save the Wetland
By: George Mainous

Walking across the land
I see a weakened coast at hand
that bears no rock or grainy sand
please save the Wetland
please save the Wetland

In the Past the eye could see
a home to lovely bird and bee
now they are forced to flee
please save their Wetland
please save their Wetland

Without action there’s no result
without the barriers we are at fault
we must act quick like lightning bolts
we must save the Wetland
we must save the Wetland

Yet Future time holds some hope
for Louisiana’s aging coast
my generation will come to boast
we can save the Wetland
we can save the Wetland

I cannot wait to see the day
that I am old and aged away
fearless to state the fact I’ll say
We saved the Wetland
We saved the Wetland