This season, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network launched a contest to inspire people to tell their stories about our beautiful landscape, rich local culture, and wonderful community; and/or the FAB organization that brings it all together.
So often, people take for granted the splendor of our local region because they see it every day. FAB wanted to encourage people to think about all the great things that this region has to offer and tell their stories about their FABulous experiences!
The contest was open to anyone who wished to contribute – because you don’t have to be a professional writer to be inspired and creative!
FAB received submissions throughout October and November, which were then considered by a preliminary judging panel, a mix of community members and FAB directors. Five finalists were chosen and those stories were open to the public for voting. Over 100 people voted on the stories and FAB announced the winners on December 14th.
Congratulations to the first place winner, Ross Sutherland (pictured left), author of “Loons Lost and Loons Found,” and to the runner up, Kristin Mullin, author of “Urban Hikers!”
The first place prize – a Kindle Paperwhite E-book reader – was given to Ross for his “FABulous” story!
Ross, a registered nurse at Street Health in Kingston, wrote a story about the impact of the building of the Mitchell Creek Bridge on the loon population in that area. Having been a resident on Mitchell Creek near the Frontenac Provincial Park for the last 20 years, Ross saw first hand the devastation the bridge had on the loons, but also saw the members of the community come together to create a nesting platform to rebuild the loon population.
When asked about his story, Ross said: “Even when we do damage to our environment, with a little help, nature is resilient. We should not give up hope, but keep trying to preserve and improve our natural environment.”
The runner up was Kristin Mullin (pictured right), the Communications Officer for Frontenac County, who received a gift basket of local goodies.
These included local natural tea from Art of Tea, handmade mugs from Krista Cameron Pottery, a gift certificate to P’lovers the Environmental store, maple syrup from Horton Homestead Farms, and more!
Kristin’s story described a beautiful hike and she and her daughter’s experiences with nature. When asked what inspired her story, Kristin said: “Enjoying the natural beauty of the world is something I try to do every single day. The more time I spend admiring nature, the more satisfaction and joy I get out of it. It helps me in my day-to-day life to slow down and be present.”
She also pointed out the importance of exposing children to the beauty of nature and teaching them how to protect the natural environment: “I believe unless you really experience the wonder of it first-hand, the passion isn’t really there. Places like the Frontenac Arch Biosphere provide us with these wonderful experiences.”
This short story contest is just one of the ways the FAB Network promotes sustainable community development that encompasses all four pillars of sustainability: nature, livelihood, wellbeing and culture. These pillars are often interconnected, as can be seen in the creativity of these stories that linked the art of writing with nature.
The FAB Network tries to promote this type of balance through a suite of FAB programs, including FAB Arts, a network of over 600 artists, including writers of all kinds.
To read the full stories or to learn more about FAB programs, visit www.frontenacarchbiosphere.ca.
Release and photos source: Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network