FOCAAdmin  Apr.17.2023

Cash prizes of $500 and $300 will be handed out this April for the Old Croton Aqueduct Essay Competition. The Friends invited high school students in Yonkers to submit personal experiences, fiction, or tales of environmental awareness about the aqueduct trail and tunnel. The mission was to discover talent from the student community, as well as to bring about awareness and care for the aqueduct trail in Yonkers. The winning essays are highly readable, personal reflections on the historic tunnel and trail.

The winner for First Prize is "The Tale of The Incredible Old Croton Aqueduct", by Ms. Lesley Escobar of Riverside High School. Second Prize goes to the essay "The Old Croton Aqueduct" by Ms. Gianna Angelique Ortiz of Sacred Heart High School. Both schools also win big -- an additional $500 and $300 respectively to each school.

The judges hotly debated and reread every essay! The Friends especially thank teachers at Lincoln, Roosevelt and Barack Obama School for Social Justice who also enthusiastically encouraged students to learn about local history. All ten contestants - from five high schools - earned the judges’ admiration for outstanding compositions and hard work! Mr. Harold McKoy is the Yonkers consultant for The Friends, and the essay contest is the result of his creative energy.

More than seven miles of the Old Croton Aqueduct trail winds through Yonkers, and includes scenic views of the New Jersey Palisades cliffs, Tibbetts Brook Park and northwest Yonkers’ late Victorian architecture. The trail also gives easy access to the award-winning daylighted Saw Mill River Park in the downtown district and is within walking distance of several MetroNorth train stations in Yonkers. The Friends hope these two lovely essays by Escobar and Ortiz pique the curiosity of many more local walkers and bikers.