Evan Biles, 15, tied for first place in the youth category of the Earth Day photo contest for his picture of a dog and master playing fetch along the river. (Evan Biles/Special to The News)

VIDEO: Words and images depict importance of earth to Maple Ridge residents

These are the winners of a poetry and photography contest is held in conjunction with Earth Day

Earth Day has a long history in Maple Ridge, with festivities held every year in Memorial Peace Park.

Of course, those festivities were cancelled this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it didn’t stop organizers from proceeding with their Earth Day poetry and photography contests, said one of the organizers, Leanne Koehn.

RELATED: Poetry and photo contests open for Earth Day in Maple Ridge

“We are excited to share the winning entries with you – congratulations to everyone who shared their poems and photos to celebrate a healthy community,” she said, explaining that the contest was open to poets and shutterbugs.

There were three age categories for each of the contests, ages 10 and younger, youth ages 11 to 16 years, and then adults (age 17 and older).

RELATED SUBJECT – Earth Day: A new relationship to wildlife is needed for nature and people

The them for this year’s contests was Get Active! Healthy Community, Healthy Self, with a focus on healthy infrastructure, environmental health and physical health. That gave contestants a lot of options, Koehn said.



Child winner is Amber Moreno – Age 6 – Hummingbird

Youth winner (tie): Evan Biles – Age 15 – Fetch


Youth winner (tie): Bonita Shao – Age 15 – Heal(thy)

Adult and overall winner: Linda Killerich – Reflection




Adult category

First place – Antoinette De Wit

Earth Day Marriage Ceremony

In this eco-community I thee wed

The earthlings now join a garden bed

To have, to hold, to honour and love

To reduce, recycle and stand above

Neglect, abuse and thoughtlessness

And embrace the oath of reusefulness.

Pledging to uphold basic commonsense

Truly the seedlings to making a difference

A difference to our holy Mother Earth

And to all that she is worthy and worth.

The pledges between the two betrothed

Do indeed signify a huge workload

For better or worse the vows do say

There just is no other better way.


Second place – Janet Kvammen


We all think we will have more time.

Days to shine in golden light.

Nights to dream,

an ebony sky dancing,

starry blue above.

To breathe in clean ocean air.

To sit beneath a canopy of majestic cedar.

To respect —

the trees,

the rivers,

the sweet water.

To protect the land.

Our sacred earth

does not have time for tomorrow.

We must wake up.

Get active.

The time is now.


Third place – anonymous

Healthy Self

Healthy self is my overall vision

Reaching that, will be this year’s mission

Eating things for a healthy body and soul

Am I gonna be able to be in control?

I love to eat and not always as healthy as it could be

Seriously, the love to eat “whatever”, is often key

Getting active is certainly the hardest part of the “healthy self” deal

Just walking and working is enough for me, I feel!

Maybe incorporate some biking and swimming?

Could it possibly assist with some needed waistline trimming?

I will try my best to complete my vision

It’s all up to me; today I make a conscious decision!


Youth category

First place – Sophia Barker-Voisine


Windswept Sand scrapes a shell of me

and a sculpture of scallops tower to the crown of my conscience

A skeleton for gulls to peck

and crimson crabs to carry down to grasping claws

and buried feet

Glints of pearly seashells reflect a new mirror of myself

swathed in bleached wood

sedentary in sunlight

Flippant among the shards of memory

cursed by the spite of salt

Evanesced by limelight

stripped by daylight

Drying as bone in the speckled sand

Dancing away through bundles of sage blending into the horizon

The buzz of bugs follows clueless and hopeful

and drown in grasping claws

and buried feet

Sorrow catches the tilt of my eye when I turn my head against the winds of remembrance

neglecting the water buffalos of memory stampeding through the tendrils of my conscience

Waiting for waves that will never reach

Watching them swell and collapse

Billowing through a rumour

a mere whisper carried by the salt speckled wind

A sirens call lures down

to grasping claws

and buried feet

Saudade reverberates through my skeleton like a ghostly albatross

as waves crash thunderously

taunting the shore

Yearning for release from a cage

wailing for liberty

as I was collecting fragments of myself,

crumbling ribbons of velvet sand

running through my fingers

Callous knees buckle

driving past trodden sand

Cold hands with iced veins emerge from the wind

patrons of Anemoi

calling my name and whirling me away

Crabs rise up carrying the shell

of my old self

to the place of dunes and doom

and buried feet

Standing tall in the horizon behind me

a mirage of Golden Ears

silver lining the sky

At my back in silent comfort

My hair in halos lash

as I tread down the groaning bleached log

Blisters and splinters corrode my worn feet

and sun rays fill me up, lifting me high

above the golden mountain range

freeing me from static hostage

To match the clouds

and rain down again

Rainbows arching between land and sea

Joyous between halcyon light

free of grasping claws

and buried feet


Kids category

First place – Donovan Wu

The One with the Earth

It’s a Beautiful world!

To keep its beauty you gotta be bright.

Help it and then we will ignite.

Help people and help yourself.

It will be a better place if you help every place.

You are like an angel flying in the air.

It’s kind of like you have to help the world because you do.

It’s the kind thing to do!

You have to be.

We love you, just the way you are

You don’t have to change. We love you the way you are.

We love you, we love you, we love everyone.

Help the world and it will help you.

Good happy thoughts make the world better.

You have to do and get better.

Learn as you go, so you don’t flow away.

You must help children learn and play.

And in the future it will return.

You have to help everybody, everywhere.

Just because it’s the good thing to do.

Just help everyone, you will be good.

Save everyone on the earth and the earth too!

You save the earth and happy will rise again!

This is the end of the bad, it’s the start of the good.

This is awesome everything is awesome if you help.

You should be good if you help do so much good.

Help the world be good good good.

The one with the ocean.

The one with the trees.

The one with the wind swaying through the breeze.

You are awesome the way you are.


2nd place – Marley Kamlade

Time of My Life

I close my eyes

I dream about the firefighters, the police and the doctors

Because they are the best

They help people

They make people happy

And they are special to me

Thank you everyone

Happy Easter


All winning poets were invited to send in a reading of their poems. A few of them chose to participate. See video above.


• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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Fifteen-year-old Bonita Shao tied as a winner in the youth category of the Earth Day photo contest for her picture called Heal(thy. (Bonita Shao/Special to The News)

Six-year-old Amber Moreno’s picture of the hummingbird won her first place in the Earth Day 2020’s children’s photography category. (Amber Moreno/Special to The News)

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