“Our Changing Lakes and Streams” was the topic for this year’s essay contest sponsored by the Forest County Association of Lakes (FCAL). 5th and 6th grade students from Crandon, Laona and Wabeno were invited to participate. Students began by interviewing a local resident about changes that person has seen in a local waterway through the years. Differences over time were reported in fish populations, water quality, invasive species and more people living on and using our local waterways. Interviewees talked about seasonal cycles, increased human use, climate changes, harmful chemicals and aquatic invasive species as causes of the changes they see. Through the interviews, the reporters/essay writers became more aware that the passing of time has brought changes to our own local lakes and streams. Often not for the better. They were moved to consider what the future might bring. Many essay writers ended with the need for all of us to take responsibility for protecting our waters so they can be enjoyed by future generations.

First, second and third place winners received $100, $50 and $25 cash prizes, respectively. Awards were presented at each school. Winning essays will be posted at the Crandon Public Library.

  • Crandon 5th grade (teacher Lacey Palubicki) winners are 1st place Drew Gerber, 2nd place Scarlett Palubicki, and 3rd place Olivia Glinski.
  • Crandon 6th grade (teacher Lindsey Jaeger) winners are 1st place Paisley Crum, 2nd place Zaylee Bradley and 3rd place Jasmine Pamonicutt.
  • Laona 5th grade (teacher Kathy Krawze) winners are 1st place T.J. Perry, 2nd place Chase Craw, and 3rd place Aubrey Albrecht.
  • Laona 6th grader (teacher Michelle Ferm) winners are Flora Dehart, 2nd place Jaxson Nelson and 3rd place Elizabeth Biederman.
  • Wabeno 5th grade (teachers Darcie Zelle and Laurie VanKauwenberg) winners are 1st place Eli Smith, 2nd place Conner Liptack and 3rd place Colleen Stealer.

The mission of FCAL is to work with lake organizations, government agencies and the general public to protect Forest County inland water bodies, environs and watersheds for now and future generations. Visit us at fcal-wis.org for news, resources and information.

FCAL board member Clair Carty, winners Drew Gerber, Scarlett Palubicki, Olivia Glinski and Crandon 5th grade teacher Lacey Palubicki


Crandon 6th grade teacher Lindsey Jaeger and winners Paisley Crum, Zaylee Bradley, Jasmine Pamonicutt


Winners T.J. Perry, Chase Craw, Aubrey Albrecht and FCAL board member Clair Carty


Front row, winners Colleen Stealer, Conner Liptack, Eli Smith. Back row, interviewee Tod Yingling, Wabeno 5th grade teachers Laurie VanKauwenberg, Darcie Zelle and FCAL board member Clair Carty