Art contest

A student draws her submission for the Adopt-a-Highway art contest.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews and Adopt-a-Highway volunteers have been picking up about 600 tons of trash off more than 18,000 miles of roadways each year. Despite the agency’s best efforts, it’s still an ongoing problem, so they’re putting more of a focus on preventing the litter from getting there in the first place.

To help, the agency is turning to the state’s aspiring artists to help design the new Adopt-a-Highway automobile litter bags. The bags will help contain trash inside vehicles and the art they display will help spread the message of litter prevention. 

The bags are also meant to remind people about the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer opportunities.

Submit work 

The Adopt-a-Highway art contest is open to any students in first through sixth grade. All submissions should use the theme of “Keeping Washington Beautiful/Reducing Roadside Litter.” Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m., Friday, May 31. All mailed submissions must be postmarked by May 31. Each child is allowed to submit one drawing. A panel of judges from the 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.

Electronic submissions must be 300 dpi or higher, and portrait oriented, and mail submissions must be on 8.5 x 11 paper, and portrait oriented. All submissions must be done in black and white, and hand drawn with bold strong lines. Artists must use all original artwork, and cannot use copyright images such as characters from TV shows, video games, or books. All art submissions are owned by WSDOT, and they are authorized to post entries on their website, print, and publish designs. 

To submit drawings online, send them as an email to

Artcontest@wsdot.wa.gov with the subject line as the subject line “Adopt-a-Highway litter bag contest.” In the body of the email, include the student’s name, age, school, and the best phone number and email for contact. Also include parents’ names and a note that they have approved the submission.

Mail submissions must include a note with the student’s name, age, school and the best phone number and email for contact. Include parents’ names and a note that they have approved the submission. Mail submissions to:

WSDOT Maintenance and

Operations Division

ATTN: Adopt-a-Highway

litter bag contest

PO Box 47358

Olympia, WA  98504-7358

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