The Energy and Environment Cabinet just announced the winners of the fifth Capture the Earth photography contest for middle school students.
Beaumont Middle School sixth-grader, Griffin Shively, took home the top prize for his photograph of a tufted titmouse:
From a release:
“This picture makes me feel happy for many reasons,” wrote Griffin in his submission. “It is a beautiful creature that happens to be my mom’s favorite bird — the tufted titmouse. Most of all, it is in my own backyard. How awesome is it that each and every day I can stop and watch these beautiful birds, and many more, as they enjoy life?”
Griffin said his family keeps feeders on their property to help birds make it through what can be tough Kentucky winters.
“Conservation isn’t just limited to the lakes and streams or the land we live on,” he said. “It includes all the beautiful creatures around, including birds.. Winter can be hard for these little guys. Finding food can become an issue with snow like we have had in 2015. So, we make it a point to keep feeders all over our property. I think it is our duty to care for the environment and its inhabitants.”
He also has advice to those who would like to do their part in environmental protection. He advises people to start small like he did.
“Find one thing to get passionate about. Caring for the birds in my backyard has led to making changes about how my family treats other living things. When we are at the lake we throw fish back in to reproduce, instead of keeping them. We are more aware of joining in to keep our lakes clean and participate in efforts to clean it up. There is so much more we can do. Recycle, reuse, conserve and care. By the way, we love to feed the birds, but selfishly, I love getting shots like this,” said Griffin.
Noah Lyles, an eighth-grader at Elkhorn Middle School (Frankfort), scored an honorable mention for his photo of a forested trail at Cove Spring Park:
Anchorage Public School eight-grader Olivia Ray also received an honorable mention for her photo of a barred owl:
The Energy and Environment Cabinet may be focused on excusing the destruction of Kentucky’s natural wonder but it’s nice to see kids know what’s what.