Mendocino Study Club is sponsoring a very unusual Story Contest, which will take place from May 1-20, 2016. They invite all local fourth grade students, sophomores in high school, and adults of all ages to submit stories about the Pygmy Forest. One contest rule is that each story must start with: “Once Upon A Time in the Pygmy Forest…”
This Story Contest is the first of many events leading up to a Pygmy Forest Awareness Weekend, September 9, 10 and 11, 2016. Many local organizations are participating in events to “Find the Magic! Rediscovering our Pygmy Forests!” The Fort Bragg Garden Club initiated these celebrations in honor of locations such as the Charlotte M. Hoak Pygmy Forest at Van Damme State Park, The Pygmy Forest National Natural Landmark at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve, and other interesting local areas containing these unique forests.
Celebrations will also include a Pygmy Forest Photography Contest for high school students, Celebration Ceremonies, a luncheon at Russian Gulch, displays at the Ford House and Kelley House in Mendocino, and at Savings Bank of Mendocino — Fort Bragg Branch, a Second Saturday Open House, hikes and bike rides in the Pygmy Forest, a plant sale at Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center, and other interesting activities.
The Pygmy Forest Story Contest is the first of the events. The May timing of the Story Contest will allow students to write stories before the end of the school year. During April, fourth grade students in Fort Bragg and Mendocino will go on field trips to explore and learn about the Pygmy Forest, thanks to a generous grant of $2500 received by Mendocino Study Club from the California State Parks Foundation.
Judging of the Story Contest will be by members of the California Writers’ Club — Mendocino Coast. Cash prizes and Honorable Mention prizes will be presented to each age group. Each fourth grade student who writes a Pygmy Forest story will also receive a voucher for a pass to visit all National Parks, which is good through August 31, 2016. The pass includes three accompanying adults. This program is called “Every Kid in a Park,” and celebrates the Centennial of the National Park Service (officially on August 25, 2016).
Printed Story Contest rules are available at local libraries and online.
For information please call: (707) 961-1881.
(Large Van Damme State Park Pygmy Forest photo above by D. Berry, courtesy of Save the Redwoods.)