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Children Invited To Submit Essays

For time capsule

The Discovery Center, in conjunction with a coalition of organizations working for the recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area Act, invites K-12 students in all six Washington and Oregon counties comprising the Gorge to submit essays for inclusion in the Gorge25 Time Capsule.

The essays will describe childrens' visions and hopes for the future of the Gorge. The sealed time capsule will be displayed at the Discovery Center until it is reopened in 2036 (25 years from now).

The time capsule was created and donated by Northwest Aluminum Specialties, Inc. in The Dalles.

Jim Shaver, NWAS vice president, said, ""Our employees are pleased to provide the time capsule for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area 25th Anniversary celebration. The unit is made entirely from recycled aluminum. This is a very interesting project -- and with the help from everyone -- the Columbia River Gorge will be just as beautiful 25 years from now, when it is opened".

Carolyn Purcell, Executive Director of the Discovery Center, agrees.

"Anniversaries are a time for reflection and reminiscence, but also a time for thinking about the future: where have we come in 25 years, and where will we be in another 25 years," she adds. "The time capsule will capture the essence of our hopes and dreams in a snapshot of how we feel today."

"Envisioning the Gorge in 2036" is the essay subject. Sample topics include: Why I believe the Columbia Gorge is a national and international treasure, and how I can help protect its resources; What are the challenges we face in the Gorge today, and how can they be overcome by 2036; What I will tell my (future) children about the Gorge in 2011, as compared to how (I hope) it will be in 2036, or; "A Perfect Day in the Gorge in 2036" - the cultural, natural, and recreational activities I would like to enjoy with my family on an ideal day, 25 years from now.

Essays should be under 500 words, hand-written or typed, one page preferred. An optional, non-perishable object, such as a meaningful memento from a hike or a handcrafted item, may be also be included.

Email submissions by Sept. 21 to roxie@gorgediscovery.org, or mail to the Discovery Center, attn: Roxandra, at 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Ore., 97058.

Indicate grade level (K-12), and include full name and contact information. All items not sealed in the time capsule will be returned upon request.

Students will be invited to read their compositions aloud during the dedication of the time capsule. Participants will receive gift certificates, certificates of appreciation, and the opportunity to be an integral part of the 25th Anniversary Gorge Community Celebration at the Discovery Center on Oct. 8.

The Gorge Community Celebration (Oct. 8 and 9) is a free, family friendly, two-day festival including live music, art, educational activities, living history performances, recreation, locally grown foods and beverages, a climbing wall, outdoor yoga, crafts, and more.

In recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act, this is the first annual event of its kind, designed to inspire and build long-term local, regional and national support for stewardship of the Gorge region's cultural heritage, scenic beauty, natural resources, and recreational opportunities.

"We hope the 25th Anniversary Celebration will cause people to feel pride about their connection to the Gorge, will inspire them to develop a greater knowledge of the area, will increase their love and passion for this special place, and will cause them to think and work toward an exciting, sustainable future," said Angie Brewer, Gorge25 Project Coordinator.

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