Students in elementary through high school are invited to submit essays about women who have made a difference

As Women's History Month approaches and to celebrate the soon-to-be Women's Heritage Trail in Canby, some local organizations are holding an essay contest open to students in elementary through high school. Winners will be celebrated at a March ceremony.

Complementing the Downtown Canby Heritage Trail established in 2016, the City of Canby's Heritage and Landmarks Commission is in the process of establishing the Women's Heritage Trail to recognize the contributions made by women in the growth and development of the community of Canby, according to a press release. The trail will be the first municipal heritage trail in Oregon dedicated to the recognition of women.

In conjunction with the establishment of the trail, the HLC is partnering with Canby Public Library, The Canby Kiwanis and the Canby School District to put on the essay contest.

"We are excited to support the essay contest and help the Heritage and Landmarks Commission celebrate the many ways women have contributed to our community," said Irene Green, the director of the Canby Public Library. "Our library exists because generations of Canby women are responsible for its creation and ongoing support."

The Women's Heritage Trail Essay Contest is intended to encourage students to explore the many ways women, currently and historically, have made the community of Canby a better place to live, work and play, according to the release.

"Traditionally, the contributions of women have been unrecorded, and unfortunately, lost in the historical record," said Tony Crawford, the HLC member spearheading the essay contest. "We plan to place the student essays in a bound book, stored in the Canby Library, and help provide future generations a written record of how women have made a difference in Canby."

The essay rules, which have also been distributed to all area schools, are as follows.

Elementary students:

-Theme: "A Woman Who Inspires Me"

-50-200 words

-The essay may be supported by a drawing or photo

Middle and high school students:

-Theme: "Women, Past or Present, Making Canby a Great Community"

-200-500 words

-The essay may be supported by a drawing or photo

All essays are due by March 1 and can be dropped off at the library.

Celebrity judges will determine "essays of distinction" for each category. The judges include: Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader, Mayor of Canby Brian Hodson, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Marcum, Canby Kiwanis Past President Luana Hill, Canby Kiwanis member Kay Huston, President of Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition Board of Directors Jim Mattis and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Christine Curran.

Winning essayists will be invited to read their papers at a dedication ceremony on March 22 at 4 p.m. at the library, where they will also be awarded commemorative medallions. All student authors will receive certificates and all essays will be published in the book to be kept at the library.

Kristen Wohlers
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