Forest Products Week Essay Contest


Did you know wood is the only natural resource on Earth that is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable?

In North Carolina, the forest products industry plants over 60 million trees each year. Those trees are then turned into more than 5,000 wood and paper products that we use and enjoy each day — everything from baby food and ice cream, to rayon and paint, to toothpaste, cosmetics, medicine and household cleaners.

Unlike fossil fuels, metals and plastics, wood can be harvested, used, regrown and harvested again and again in a never-ending cycle. With proper forest management, we can enjoy thousands of products and still have plenty of trees for wildlife habitat, clean air and water, recreation and aesthetic beauty today and in the future.

Since 1960, National Wood Products Weeks, Congress has passed a resolution during the third week of October to “focus attention on the importance of our forests and forest products to the Nation’s economy and welfare.” To view the 2018 presidential proclamation, click here.

To celebrate Forest Products Week, the North Carolina Forestry Association along with its sponsors are hosting a statewide essay contest to promote the 1,000 companies directly contributing to North Carolina’s forest economy.


Writing Prompts and Essay Length Guidelines:

Grade Level Essay Length Writing Prompt
Elementary (3rd-5th) 350 words or less Talk about a time in which you and your friends or you and your family went out into the forest. What did you see? What did you learn?
Middle ( 6th-8th) 400 words or less Happy 75th birthday Smokey Bear! We know that only you can prevent wildfires, but explain how a managed fire in the forest can benefit the ecosystem.
High (9th-12th) 500 words or less
Research an everyday product that is made from trees in North Carolina. Describe how it is made, and how the item has helped you in your daily life.

Teacher Requirements: 

Teachers are required to select the top five essays in their class. If teachers lead multiple sections of a course, teachers can send the top five essays per class section. Send essays in one envelope to NCFA.

Due Date: 

Essays will be due on the last day of National Forest Products Week (October 25, 2019.) Essays must be received or postmarked by Friday, October 25, 2019. Students and teachers of winning essays will be notified by December 2. Please look to our website and social media pages for selected individuals.

Submitting Your Essay:

Essays should have the following contact information form attached:

Contact Information Form

Essays can be typed or handwritten and must be mailed to NCFA for consideration.

Please use Times New Roman size 12 or 14 font for typed essays.

Please mail your essays to:

North Carolina Forestry Association

Attn: Amy Juliana
1600 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 1
Raleigh, NC 27608

Judging Criteria:

Essays will be graded using a standardized Analytic Rubric.

Winning essays will also include the following:

  • Express the individual’s ideas and thoughts.
  • Spelling, Grammar and neatness. Essays can be typed.
  • Creativity
  • Negative and or Doom and Gloom scenarios discouraged
    • According to the most recent data, North Carolina is home to 18.6 million acres of forestland which is a dramatic increase in trees since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Prizes: Top essays will be selected from the elementary, middle and high school categories. All three winners will each receive a $200 visa gift card. The teacher of the winning essay will also receive $100 visa gift card for classroom materials and a scholarship to attend the 2020 Sustainable Forestry Teachers Experience. Prizes will be delivered during the month of December.

Great Resources To Check Out




Click here for the 2017 Winning Essays

Click here for the 2018 Winning Essays 

Click here for the 2019 Winning Essays

Special thanks to our sponsors; the N.C. Forest Service and the North Carolina Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee.