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Local student wins a $2500 grand prize from a nationwide competition that gets students thinking about the outdoors

Rylee Tittle also won prizes for her school Christ the King Lutheran school.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This week's Local Cool Kid, Rylee Tittle, faced a challenge. How to make the great outdoors better?

Her answer earned her thousands of dollars. 

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The (Really) Great Outdoors contest, a national competition, from Turfmutt foundation and Scholastic got students across the country thinking about our world. To create ideas, and design green spaces to make it not only beautiful but better. 

"One of our principal objects is to reconnect kids to the outdoors and have them understand the importance of it in our lives and that they can become environmental stewards," said Kris Kiser, Foundation President.

Out of the 2,300 submissions from students, the grand prize winner was from the Mid-south. 

Tittle's teacher and the school also received a $750 cash prize.

Tittle's idea and design was to create something for everyone. 

Credit: TurfMutt Foundation
Local Cool Kid Rylee Tittle's Winning Design for the Turf Mutt 'The Great Outdoors' competition

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Her park was divided into four sections.

An area with ponds and trails for taking pictures and art, and for walking the dog. A themed play area for children, walking paths, and zen gardens for outdoorsy types to walk, run, jog or bike. 

"I just sort of wanted to make a place where like anyone could go," said Tittle. 

"This COVID business of late has reinforced how important the outdoors is," said Kiser. "It's our safe space, our outdoor space." 

"As we socially distance and de-stress outside during the pandemic, it was great to see how many kids value the outdoors and what being in it means," said Kiser.

Other winners were from schools in Virginia and California.