Sunday, July 2, 2023

Senior citizens gather for Poetry Contest Gala

long lake library

Senior citizens gathered at the CVW Long Lake Public Library for the Arbor Day Poetry Contest Gala on June 28.  The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted the 15th annual Arbor Day Poetry Contest for senior citizens this past spring.

“The Arbor Day Poetry Contest turned fifteen this year, and record numbers of poets submitted entries from as far away as West Virginia,” said District Manager Caitlin Stewart.  “I always look forward to re-working the theme and poetic form each year to keep the contest fresh for our seniors.  It is important to me to offer something fun just for them.”

Twenty-five poets submitted lantern poem based on the theme “Hope Grows Through Trees.”  Special guest judge Kathy Stewart ranked blind copies.

“This year’s Arbor Day Poetry Contest featured a very different format,” said judge Kathy Stewart.  “The lanturne, or lantern poem is structured to resemble a Japanese lantern. While the format is rigid, the sentiments expressed by this year’s submissions were all different and truly uplifting. Spring, and a tree’s rebirth, are joyful to see. Watching the forest transform from the gray of winter to the bright green of spring seems to bring a renewal of hope, as do these amazing poems.”

Long Lake Library Manager Kristel Guimara made the gala extra special by coordinating the venue and refreshments.  Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Caitlin Stewart awarded

Poems bloom on the Arbor Day PoeTree.

certificates of merit, and town-wide and overall certificates.  The seniors read their poems, and enjoyed visiting with old and new friends.

Camille Cristaldi of Long Lake received first place, Patricia Paton of Wells received second place, and Nancy B. Williams of Lake Pleasant received third place.  They received wildflower seed packets.  Cristaldi also received a hand carved walking stick from Long Lake poet enthusiast Bob Tice.

Second Place winner Patricia Paton shares her poem during the Arbor Day Poetry Contest gala.

“By participating in the District’s annual Arbor Day Poetry Contest, I get to share my concerns about the environment with people like me who live here in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains,” said Long Lake poet Bob Tice.  “If we destroy this habitat, we will be destroying our future.  It’s fun and rewarding seeing more and more tree-loving poets enter the contest every year.”

“Bob Tice participated in the first poetry contest in 2008, and hasn’t missed a single year,” said Stewart.  “He rallies the Long Lake poets, and encourages them to enter.  He has become a very special friend, and we share poems and Beatles songs year-round.”

Arbor Day was celebrated April 28 and honored the importance of planting trees.

Seniors interested in participating in the 2024 Arbor Day Poetry Contest can contact the District for more information.


Comes from
Views of trees
Against bright, blue

The District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965.  For more information go to or call 518-548-3991.

Photo above: Arbor Day poets with their certificates during the celebratory gala held at Long Lake Public Library.

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Caitlin Stewart manages the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District's mission is to manage and promote the wise use of Natural Resources in Hamilton County. Caitlin will be sharing the District's conservation-focused services, programs, and events. She’s been a full time resident of Hamilton County since 2008 and is an avid hiker, skier, paddler, and biker. She is obsessed with adventuring with her dog Artemis.

One Response

  1. Ronald Hagelund says:

    as gandalfian geezer ADK…may i weigh in please ??
    Publish all poems because everybody appreciates seeing/sharing such labors of love in print …plus seniors by definition are in the last stages/final chapters/legacy
    thanks Ronald Lee Hagelund
    ps my 2 cents/sense…

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