American Girl Magazine's Editors-for-a-Day Contest Winners Share Their Inspiring StoryCommunity
For 25 years, American Girl magazine has been telling stories of real girls getting together to do amazing things. That is why, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the magazine, we launched our “Be an AG Editor for a Day” contest by asking girls to tell us about something special they accomplished together with a friend. Our grand-prize winners, Wren and Sloane, wrote about their work on an important river-restoration project in their community. The girls then joined the magazine staff at American Girl headquarters in Wisconsin, where they helped create the November/December 2018 issue and prepared their story for print.
by Sloane S. and Wren C.
In our town in Colorado, we spend every day among beautiful mountains, trees, and prairies. There are a lot of animals here, too, and our favorites are moose, bears, and porcupines. We are outside all the time, summer or winter, doing things like hiking and skiing.
There’s an important river that runs through our town, and it’s the heart of where we live. People gather there, and sometimes we tube down the river, but we also like to swim and jump in the river. The wildlife in the area rely on it for their homes. Everyone can unite in the awesomeness of this river. It means so much to all of us who live here.
A little while ago, part of the river was getting wider and shallower. That meant that it was becoming warmer, and fish were having trouble creating suitable habitats. A few years ago, a group rebuilt the river’s bank. But then the river bank began to erode again. That’s where we came in: when we got the call to come and support our prized river, we immediately answered, “Yes!”
We were a part of a team of fifth graders who came together to help preserve the river bank. We needed to plant trees along the banks so that the roots hold the river in place, which would help keep it from getting too wide and shallow. The new trees also provide shade for the river, keeping the water cool for the fish. And the trees also provide habitats for birds, squirrels, and bugs.
Because we needed to plant so many trees, we asked our community for money and other supplies. We wrote grants (which are proposals that ask for money for a specific project), and we talked to local businesses to ask them for supplies, like pots, compost, digging equipment, and tree seedlings.
Next, it was time for our troupe of 20 kids to get to work! We planted more than 80 fragile willow and alder seedlings into pots. The newly planted trees would spend several months in their pots at a nursery, getting stronger and bigger. When we finally got to plant the trees by the river, we were so excited to see our trees in their new home.
We really care about our environment, and being in nature is a big part of our lives. We don’t want to see it destroyed, and we want our home—and our awesome river—to be around for generations to come. We felt really good about making a difference, not just for the river, but also for the plants and animals who live there, too.
The biggest thing we learned during this project is that if you are passionate, don’t be afraid to try. Sometimes it takes a lot of tries to make something happen. It’s cool to be passionate about your town and the well-being of the place where you live. We worked with people who are just as passionate about the environment as we are. It means a lot to us to know that we made a difference in our world!
Our readers are doing great things in all parts of the world, and each entry we received inspired us in different ways. Each story was special. Thanks to everyone who entered! And in the words of our November/December 2018 guest editors, “Keep putting yourself out there—you never know what you can accomplish!”
For more behind-the-scenes photos and fun facts, check out the November/December 2018 issue of American Girl magazine.
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