The Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside has named the winners of its annual “Reflections on Riverside” student poetry contest, which asks elementary and middle school students to reflect upon Riverside’s natural areas and convey their impressions in poetic form.

This year, a record 88 students participated in the contest. Cash prizes were awarded to each first-place winner. All of the winners were given framed certificates and chocolate bars iced with the society’s oak tree trademark.

Special honors went to Becky Warner, Hannah Ranft, Ben Lulich and Joseph Connelly, as stanzas from their poems were selected by the Riverside Public Library for a rain barrel that will be part of Brookfield Zoo’s Great Bear Wilderness exhibit. All of the winning poems will be displayed outside the library on a rotating basis this summer.

Winners included the following students:

Ames School

1st Fiona Bushe, “The Nature Side of Riverside”

2nd Grace Pekny, “I Am Nature”

Blythe Park School

1st Katie Lahart, “Spring Wildlife”

2nd Natalie Lisle, “Swan Pond Haiku”

Central School

1st Ben Lulich, “In Riverside”

2nd Skye Ozga, “A Tour of Riverside”

3rd Joseph Connelly, “The Des Plaines River”

Hollywood School

1st Samantha Bitzer, “Riverside”

St. Mary School

1st Kane Layng, “Turtle Park in My Eyes”

Hauser Junior High

1st Peter Prybil-Pierdinock, “The Open Spaces of Riverside”

2nd Becky Warner, “Tunnel of Trees”

3rd Hannah Ranft, “Home”