Kids Take On Legislature In Picking New State Symbols

By Taylor Winkel

Grace Nelson (in Green) and her classmates speaking before the Government Operations and Elections committee. Photo by Taylor Winkel.Washington may get at least two new official state symbols, thanks to some young students. Wednesday, lawmakers in Olympia heard testimony from five kids regarding naming Palouse Falls as the state waterfall. Grace Nelson, a third grader, reasoned with lawmakers on the issue.

Grace Nelson: “Palouse falls is a famous waterfall, according to the internet it is number six on the best US waterfalls list.”

Lawmakers also heard testimony for naming the Olympia oyster as the official state oyster from 8th grader Clair Thompson. She chose this species because it is the only oyster native to the Pacific Northwest.

Clair Thompson: “The Olympia oyster, ostrea lurida, a living, water filtering relic of the earliest natives, the settlers, days of the gold rush, and the rest of our states rich history.”

Both plans immediately moved through the house committee. If approved, they will join the list of 21 other state symbols, including the state fossil, bird, and tree.

Photo: Grace Nelson (in Green) and her classmates speaking before the Government Operations and Elections committee. Photo by Taylor Winkel.

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