Poster Contest to Capture Journey of Water in Paved-Over Paradise

Entry Deadline for 4th and 5th Graders Set for Oct. 28

2023 Conservation Poster Contest, Water: The Cycle of Life, Deadline to register: Oct. 14, Deadline to submit posters: Oct. 28

Students in 4th and 5th grades are invited to get creative and learn about the effects of urbanization in North Carolina through the “Water: The Cycle of Life” poster contest. This annual, statewide educational competition has seen a Wake County student win big at the state level and is sponsored by Wake Soil and Water Conservation District and Novozymes North America, Inc., a biotechnology company based in North Carolina.

This year’s theme will challenge elementary school students to illustrate how development can affect rain and stormwater runoff in areas that have seen huge population growth. Land covered with buildings, roads and parking lots means rain can’t soak into the soil, but instead can become polluted as it runs off pavement and into nearby streams, lakes and rivers.

“The children creating these posters will be seeing the true implications of our growth in their future, so it’s critical they learn how our waterways are affected – the same waterways that provide our drinking water!” said Wake County Chair Commissioner Sig Hutchinson. “I’m looking forward to the students taking home ribbons, but more importantly becoming stewards of our precious waterways because of this contest!”

Students will research and illustrate one of many innovative best management practices designed to slow down stormwater runoff, spread it out, and soak it into the ground to be filtered clean and recharge groundwater. These practices are used across the world to ensure stormwater is a valuable resource instead of a polluted waste product. Examples include rain gardens, riparian buffers, stormwater wetlands, rain barrels, cisterns and green roofs, which are plants growing in a lightweight medium on top of the roof of a home or building to retain rainwater that falls on them instead of just causing runoff.

Posters are judged on 50% scientific content and 50% artistic originality by stormwater experts who appreciate children’s artwork.  The 1st Place posters advance to regional competition and possibly the state competition. The top 10 winners receive framed certificates, and the top three are awarded $100, $50 and $25.

Last year’s poster winner, Alice Lee from Poe Magnet Elementary in Raleigh, won a total of $400 for her winning “Soil and Water – Yours for Life” poster. Alice was a three-time winner at the county, area and state levels! Alice adapted the classic fairytale “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf” to explain how a row of native trees and plants can block wind gusts that erode topsoil from farm fields.

“It is inspiring when a student wins top honors at all three levels of competition,” said Scott Lassiter, Wake District Supervisor.  “Alice is a special young lady who will excel in all that she aspires to achieve. We have to give credit to the teachers who help these students enter our annual poster contest. They’re the ones who teach this challenging conservation content and inspire these creative illustrations. Behind every outstanding student is a stellar educator!”

The deadline for poster entries is Friday, Oct. 28. Teachers can register their 4th and 5th grade classes until Friday, Oct. 14, by emailing Wake District Educator Sheila Jones at sbjones@wakegov.com. Participating teachers receive a study guide, rubric and other helpful resources that provide science content and art tips.

For more information or to sponsor the Conservation Poster Contest, email or call Jones at 919-410-2676 or visit our website.

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Press Release