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Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Nature Poetry Contest

Poems are reflections of things we care about. Poetry is an opportunity to share what you observe, wonder about, or laugh over! Poems can be creative and clever. They can link together ideas in new ways. We can learn from poems, too.

Up to 20 poems (from poets of any age) may be submitted by the UF 4-H agent in each county. The FAMU coordinator may submit an additional 20 poems for FAMU 4-H’ers in each county. Each poem must be submitted on the submission form by March 1.

  • How to Participate in the Contest

    How to Participate in the Contest

    To enter the poetry contest, download and fill out the Contest Entry Form. The printed form must be returned by mail to the address provided. There is a limit of one entry per person. Entries will be accepted in three age categories. All entries must be postmarked by March 1.

  • 4-H Nature Poetry Contest Details
    • When: Must be postmarked by March 1, 2023. Winners will be announced at the 2023 Forest Ecology Contest on April 15, 2023 and via email.
    • Cost: No fee for poetry submissions.
    • How to Submit: See the 4-H Nature Poetry Contest page for more information, and to complete the contest entry form.

  • What Makes a Good Poem?

    What Makes a Good Poem?

    Good poems have one or more of the following characteristics:

    1. The subject of the poem is clear, easy to understand, and focused.

    2. The choice of words create power, convey an image, share a passion, breathe life, or share an experience with the reader. They come alive!

    3. Some poems have a standard rhythm or pattern. Some poems count syllables - as in a haiku. Some poems (like limericks) have a meter or beat.

    4. Some poems rhyme, and some 'almost' rhyme. Words that have the same ending sound (like cat/bat/that) are real rhymes. Words that almost rhyme (called assonance) might sound like a rhyme but aren’t, such as branches/fences or leaves/breathes.

    5. The beginning of words can also become a pattern, such as words that start with the same letter or sound:  fancy footwork of falling foliage.

    6. Good poems often use metaphors, similes, and analogies to convey ideas. A metaphor defines something as a comparison: You are a breath of fresh air. A simile uses the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to compare two things: Her eyes sparkled like diamonds when she found her favorite tree. An analogy defines a complex idea in simple, easy to translate, concrete terms: A sandhill crane – from wingtip to wingtip, is wider than I am tall.

    7. Good poems are grammatically and scientifically correct. Words are spelled correctly; animal and plant names are hyphenated properly. Prior to reprinting a winning poem, staff will request permission to make minor corrections if needed. If the author does not provide permission, the poem will not be posted on our website.
  • Read the Winning Poems

    Read the Winning Poems

    Click on the links below to read the winning poems for each age category. 

    YearAge Category
    2022 Junior  Intermediate  Senior 
    2021 Junior Intermediate Senior
    2020 Junior Intermediate  Senior
    2019 Junior Intermediate Senior
  • 2022 Winners

    Junior Division

    • 1st Place: Emma H., Manatee County, A Bird's Florida Vacation
    • 2nd Place: Margaret T., Pinellas County, Mangrove Wonderland
    • 3rd Place: Amelia Z., Hillsborough County, The Boring Beetle
    • Honorable Mention: Eden W., Sumter County, Beautiful Butterfly

    Intermediate Division

    • 1st Place: Skye B., Duval County, Rythym Recurring
    • 2nd Place: Sienna B., Duval County, A plastic world
    • 3rd Place: Anabelle Scarlett B., Okaloosa County, Crickets at night
    • Honorable Mention: Katherine R., Duval County, Ecosystem Engineers

    Senior Division

    • 1st Place: Miriam W., Pinellas County, A Songbird's Lament
    • 2nd Place: Zachary A., Pinellas County, Vulture Culture
    • 3rd Place: Ryan C., Escambia County, Our Ancient Friend
    • Honorable Mention: Hannah A., Palm Beach County, Water
    • Honoroable Mention: Benjamin S., Leon County, Viridiation
  • 2021 Winners

    Junior Division

    • 1st Place: Sienna, Duval County, Protect the Manatee
    • 2nd Place, Charlie, Pinellas County, Camping was a Loss
    • 3rd Place: Charlotte, Pinellas County, Climbing Time
    • Honorable Mention: Wensdy, Orange County, A Poem About Trees
    • Honorable Mention: Kamdyn, St. Johns County, The Deep Blue

    Intermediate Division

    • 1st Place: Skye, Duval County, Nature's Symphony
    • 2nd Place: Katherine (Katie), Duval County, A Mother's Devotion
    • 3rd Place: Emmerson, Pinellas County, A Forest Reborn

    Senior Division

    • 1st Place: Miriam, Pinellas County, Balding eagle
    • 2nd Place: Tupelo, Alachua County, Leaves and Love
    • 3rd Place: Rachel, Pasco County, Symphony of the South
    • Honorable Mention: Spencer, Duval County, My Morning Fishing Trip
    • Honoroable Mention: Stephen, Leon County, Mosquito
  • 2020 Winners

    Junior Division

    • 1st Place: Victoria, Pinellas County, The Mangrove Habitat
    • 2nd Place: Hayden, Pinellas County, Squirrels
    • 3rd Place: Alex, Duval County, The Love of Trees
    • Honorable Mention: Wesley, Pinellas County, Mangrove Forest
    • Honorable Mention: Gabriella, Leon County, I Love the Woods

    Intermediate Division

    • 1st Place: Emmerson, Pinellas County, My Nature Hike
    • 2nd Place: Skye, Duval County
    • 3rd Place: Carolyn, Alachua County, Tropical Hammock Sonnet
    • Honorable Mention: Gunnar, Pinellas County, Among the Mangroves
    • Honorable Mention: Lyric, Highlands County, Pygmy Fringe Triolet (tree-o-lay)

    Senior Division

    • 1st Place: Miriam, Pinellas County, Pet Peeves
    • 2nd Place: Benjamin, Alachua County, Swamp Sonnet
    • 3rd Place: Ashton, Highlands County
    • Lily, Clay County
    • Brayden, Escambia County, Day By Day
  • 2019 Winners

    Junior Division

    • 1st Place: Wesley, Pinellas County, In the Florida Swamp
    • 2nd Place: Sarah, Manatee County, St. Johns River
    • 3rd Place: Skye, Duval County, NIGHT
    • Honorable Mention: Kiri, Manatee County, Turtle's Life

    Intermediate Division

    • 1st Place: Edward, Pinellas County, Hunting for Spiders
    • 2nd Place: Abigail, Volusia County, Sunrise In The Sunny State
    • 3rd Place: Jocelyn, Pinellas County, Desert & Forest
    • Honorable Mention: Ava, Pinellas County, CREATION

    Senior Division

    • 1st Place: Miriam, Pinellas County, Animals with Medical Problems
    • 2nd Place: Robert, Duval County, Panther's Plight
    • 3rd Place: Anastasia, Pinellas County, For all the things a tree has seen
    • Honorable Mention: Michael, Pinellas County, My Creek