Writing Contest Winners 2015-2016

Honorable Mention, Grades 6-8

Varun Swaminathan
Grade 6, McCall Middle School, Winchester
Mrs. DiMare, Teacher

A Letter from My Future Self

From the desk of Dr. Varun Swaminathan

February 29, 2040

Dear Winchester Community Leaders:

My name is Varun Swaminathan. I am 35 years old and have been given a unique opportunity using a recently discovered technology to communicate with people in the past. I wanted to use this technology to tell you about the amazing benefits of Bay State Fertilizer and more importantly, how it can benefit the Winchester neighborhood.

First, a little about me. After graduating from Winchester High, I went to MIT for an undergraduate degree in environmental science. I then joined an environmental firm that works with businesses and communities on the best ways to incorporate recycled material into our everyday lives. After that, I completed my PhD from Stanford and started my own environmental consulting firm. As part of my successful consulting business, I have had the opportunity of travelling around the country to see how different regions have developed over the last 20 years. I have looked at different products that communities used and the impact it had on their development. One of the products that have helped districts across the nation is Bay State Fertilizer, a fertilizer made by the MWRA. I am thrilled to have
access to this newfound technology of communicating with people from the past so I can educate you about my findings.

MWRA first sold Bay State Fertilizer in 1995, 4 years after they stopped sludge from being thrown into Boston Harbor. Before that, sewage from our homes would be digested (broken down) by bacteria. Then, it was tossed into Boston Harbor and taken by a tide to an outpost about 5 miles away from Long Island. Marine life was being affected every time sludge was pumped into the water. Also, the ocean smelled bad and affected people who went to the beach. On some days, the effect was so bad that people were advised not to swim. MWRA decided to prevent these negative effects by taking the sludge and converting it into fertilizer.

Communities that used Bay State Fertilizer have had marvelous results. It enhanced the beauty of their fields and gardens, season after season. It lasted longer because the fertilizer breaks down slowly. This fertilizer did not burn the grass and, one of the biggest bonuses; it reduced the need for frequent watering! Finally, it supplied plenty of iron and other vital micronutrients. Due to the fact that it lasts longer due to a slower breakdown, and reduces the need for frequent watering, Bay State Fertilizer can, and will save you a lot of money. If you are spending less on preserving greenery and maintaining your fields, you can spend more money on other causes such as education, or public safety. As you can see from the numerous benefits to the areas that have used Bay State fertilizer, this will help the Winchester community in many ways.

During my travels, I have also seen what happened to regions that did not use Bay State Fertilizer. Other fertilizers do not have the same level of nutrients. The town required more landscaping staff, which cost money. Eventually they had to make a choice between green grass and saving money, because they could not have both at the same time. If you want to avoid this, you should seriously consider using Bay State Fertilizer.

Other fertilizers are not as environmentally friendly as Bay State Fertilizer, and on occasion, even pollute the environment when being manufactured. This is a huge difference between Bay State Fertilizer and other brands. This fertilizer also helps the environment because it is made through recycled material. It contains 60% organic material. Bay State Fertilizer is less expensive and more reliable than other brands of fertilizer. You can use this fertilizer for anything in your town, from athletic fields and golf courses, to public parks. If you are concerned about the reliability, the MWRA is one of the largest organic recyclers in the USA. Also, the MWRA pellets are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as exceptional quality and by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as Type 1 biosolids (the highest quality classification).

I hope that I have convinced you to use this amazing product which will benefit our Winchester community as well as the environment. Today I played golf on a course that did not use Bay State Fertilizer, and my ball did not roll well on the green. I really hope that when I play golf in Winchester next, my ball rolls smoothly into the hole.

Varun Swaminathan


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