Finalists selected to compete in 22nd Caring for the Kenai competition...

Panel of 8 judges chose 12 from nearly 400 entries to compete next month for Caring for the Kenai cash awards.

From the more than 400 entries submitted in this year's Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental and disaster preparedness contest, a panel of eight judges from the professional community has selected twelve Kenai Peninsula Borough high school students to compete for over $28,000 in cash awards in the oral presentation phase of the CFK program sponsored by Tesoro and Chevron.


From the total entries submitted in this year's CFK over 100 were advanced to the semi-finalist round of judging. All semi-finalist entries will be on display Saturday April 7th at the Wal-Mart store in Kenai.

The CFK competition offers over $8,000 in cash awards to the best twelve proposals addressing the prompt, "What can I do, invent, or create to better care for the environment on the Kenai Peninsula, or to improve the area's preparedness for a natural disaster?" Participating schools this year included Homer, Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Skyview, Ninilchik, and Cook Inlet Academy as well as home schools.

"The District's students greatly appreciate both Chevron and Tesoro's generous sponsorship of this important annual event," said Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendant Steve Atwater.

"The opportunity that Caring for the Kenai offers our students to showcase their creativity and ingenuity is unsurpassed," added Dr. Atwater. The CFK educational partnership is part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District science curriculum. Participating as a finalist section judge this year was past KPBSD superintendent of schools Dr. Donna Peterson, "Every year I am amazed at the new ideas and creative growth in our students. I'm so pleased with what the teachers are doing with the CFK program making sure our community is a great place to live," she said. Kenai Peninsula College director Gary Turner has been a finalist selection judge for the last eight years and said, "I look forward to it each year and really enjoy spending the day looking at what these high school students are doing and this year the originality was impressive, it's tough coming up with new ideas and that's a credit to the students and their teachers. It makes you feel that we are in good hands with the generation that's coming up and I'm looking forward to seeing some of them at the college," said Turner.

This year $20,000 will be awarded to participating schools thanks to participating grants from Chevron, Tesoro, Kenai River Raven Lodge, Kenai River Sportfishing Association and ConocoPhillips. The $20,000 in CFK grants will be divided proportionately to participating schools based on where their students place in the final oral presentation competition to be held Thursday, April 19th at the KCHS Little Theatre, starting at 6:00pm.

In addition to the recognition and prizes that go to the 12 finalists each year, CFK's Student Recognition award program continues to grow with over 30 local sponsors presenting special recognition awards to entries of the sponsor's selection. Recipients will be announced in a Peninsula Clarion full page ad. The 12 CFK finalists will remain anonymous until after their oral presentations Thursday, April 19th.

This year's CFK competition will be streamed live over the internet by Soldotna High School technology students and has been viewed in the past in countries such as Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Greenland and Japan.

The live feed, complete history and details of the CFK program are available at . Become a Facebook friend of Caring for the Kenai or CFKenai on Twitter. CFK is administered by the non-profit Kenai Watershed Forum as part of their educational program.