Caring for the Kenai finalists to make oral presentations Thursday night

High school students compete for $28,000 cash awards

High School students from across the Kenai Peninsula will be competing Thursday for $28,000 in cash awards. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental idea competition. On Thursday April 17th twelve Kenai Peninsula Borough High School students will take the stage at the KCHS Little Theatre to present their ideas on improving our environment or preparing for a natural disaster in this annual Earth Day competition. The finalists will be competing for over $8,000 in cash prizes for themselves plus $20,000 in cash awards to their high school classrooms for technology, educational needs or equipment and supplies. Tesoro Alaska is the signature sponsor of CFK, a Kenai Watershed Forum educational program. CFK Community Partners contributing cash for classroom awards include Chevron, The Kenai River Sportfishing Association, ConocoPhillips, Hilcorp and The Kenai River Raven Lodge.

The competition will be streamed live over the internet thanks to the Kenai Peninsula School District and Soldotna High School students. Thursday night’s link will be easily available by going to and clicking on the home page banner.

This year nearly 400 students from high schools Borough wide, including Homer, Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Seward, Ninilchik, Skyview, Cook Inlet Academy and Voznesenka, submitted entries submitted their entries online through the CFK website. “The opportunity that Caring for the Kenai offers our students to showcase their creativity and ingenuity is unsurpassed,” said Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent. The CFK educational partnership is part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District science curriculum.

The CFK community partnership offers 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?” All judging is done anonymously with the student’s name and school being revealed after the final oral presentations. This year’s panel of judges includes Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, KPBSD School Board president Joe Arness, Tesoro Plant Manager James Tangaro, Jade Gamble ADEC environmental waste water engineer, Leslie Morton, Kenai Watershed Forum executive director Robert Ruffner and last year’s CFK winner Elise Webber from Homer. The public is encouraged to attend the CFK oral presentations to experience personally the great ideas coming forward from our youth. The program begins at 6:00 pm and winners will be announced that evening.