WSDOT announces roadside-litter bag art contest for kids

Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation

No one likes litter along the roadway. That’s where our state’s young artists come in.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is creating new Adopt-a-Highway automobile litter bags. The bags help physically contain trash, of course, but also will help spread a litter prevention message on the outside. So the state is launching an art contest for students in grades 1-6 aimed at reminding everyone how preventing litter helps keep Washington state beautiful.

That includes:

  • Securing all loads, even “quick trips” in town – it’s the law and it can prevent injuries as well as roadside litter
  • Never throwing trash or other items in the back of pickups where they can fly out and land on the roadways
  • Keeping track of trash inside your vehicle so that it doesn’t fall out when you exit the vehicle
  • Never tossing litter out of a vehicle or along a roadway

All students (except children of WSDOT employees and contractors) in grades 1-6 are eligible and invited to participate in this contest. Drawings should depict the theme of “Keeping Washington Beautiful/Reducing Roadside Litter.”

Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31. All mailed submissions must be postmarked by May 31.

Winning submissions will be featured on new Adopt-A-Highway automotive litter bags and will also be featured online, including on our Adopt-A-Highway website and our social media channels.

What are the submission requirements?

  • Dimensions:

o    Electronic: Submissions must be 300 dpi or higher, and portrait oriented.

o    By mail: Submissions must be on 8.5 x 11 paper, and portrait oriented.

    • Media: Submissions must be in black and white and hand-drawn (no electronic illustrations, please). Any of the following media may be used: paint (watercolor, tempera, poster, acrylic, etc.) and drawing materials (pencil, charcoal, chalk, pastels, markers, crayons, etc.). Artists are encouraged to use bold, strong lines in black and white only.
    • Original artwork: All work must include the theme of Keeping Washington Beautiful/Reducing Roadside Litter, (including how to prevent litter, why we should all keep the state clean, etc.).  No copyright images, text or other material will be accepted (for example, artwork depicting characters from television shows, video games or books is not allowed).
    • Ownership: Artist submissions shall be treated as being free of restrictions and limitations to their use. By submitting artwork, you give ownership to WSDOT and authorize us to post your entry on our website indefinitely, and grant us the right to use, print and publish your design.

How to submit drawings

Electronic: Scan, attach, and email your drawing with the subject line “Adopt-a-Highway litter bag contest” to the body of the email include the student’s name, age, school, and the best phone number and email to contact the winner. Also include parents’ names and a note that they have approved the submission. Email deadline is 5 p.m. May 31.

By Mail: All submissions should include a note with the student’s name, age, school, and the best phone number and email to contact the winner. Also include parents’ names and a note that they have approved the submission. Must be postmarked May 31. All hard copy submissions should be sent to the following address:


WSDOT Maintenance and Operations Division
ATTN: Adopt-a-Highway litter bag contest
PO Box 47358
Olympia, WA 98504-7358

Please note: Each child may only submit one drawing.

Who will select the winning drawing?
A panel of judges from our Maintenance Division will review entries. Up to four winners will be selected. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, clarity of theme and artistic merit.

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