Grayson LandCare was unable to hold their annual Landcare Fair or “LandFair” this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, awards were still given based on proposals submitted by this year’s contestants. The proposals are usually 1/3 of the entire project which also includes a poster and interview with the judges. Harriet Meineicke, LandFair cooridnator , felt it was important to hold the Fair this year given all the other events that were cancelled during the school year.
28 students entered the competition this year. The top 3 contestants were: Clare Huff- first place with A+ Compost, Jessie Worrell- 2nd with Organic Christmas trees, and the team effort by Haley Baker and Kayla Archer in third place with Safe Cat litter disposal. Clare Huff of Galax High School, won this year’s event with a proposal to re-use uneaten school cafeteria food as compost for a community garden. This was her first time participating in a LandCare event.
“My project addresses the urgent need to reduce the amount of garbage in our landfills. I would be taking the uneaten food and compostable items from my school’s cafeteria, and composting them for a community garden,” Huff said in an interview with the newspaper.
Huff explained that the goal of her project would be to create a cleaner environment, and to provide something for her community to enjoy. She shared that the environment is an important issue to her, and that she wanted to find a way to reduce the amount of trash cluttering her local landfill.
“I find it astounding that the city, whose citizens are always talking about what a great and tight-knit community we are, does not already have a community garden,” Huff shared.
Although she had the foundation of her project already set, she was unable to execute her idea due to the ongoing pandemic. She said that she researched statistics, food safety laws, and ways to involve the community for her proposal.
“I would love to see this project become a reality in the future. Due to Coronavirus, I was unable to execute my project; but hopefully after the pandemic is over, I can help make the project come to life,” Huff said.
Huff is a rising sophomore at Galax High School. Her favorite subject is English. She is a member of the SADD club, the English MACC team, the Leading Ladies organization, and the varsity tennis team. Her plans for the future are to attend a four-year university, and to “continue to use my voice and privilege to speak out against injustices,” Huff said.
The Grayson LandCare LandFair was created to give local youth an opportunity to come up with ideas that can be further developed by members of the organization. This also gets the youth thinking about ways to address problems they see in their own communities, according to Michelle Pridgen, director of the organization.
Charlotte Hanes of River Ridge Farm has been the primary sponsor of this event since it started 13 years ago.
This article was a joint effort with Shaina, the editor of the Declaration and was reprinted with her permission. We are fortunate to have a hometown paper that is always willing to support Grayson LandCare and all our initiatives by printing all the press releases we send them and creating stories about our events. Thanks Shaina!