DENVER (KDVR) — The Boulder St. Vrain Watershed Art Contest invites all kindergarten through 12th-grade students who live in or attend school in Boulder County to participate in an art contest.

The Keep it Clean Partnership is hosting the contest. It’s free to enter, and participants will have the chance to win art supplies and gift cards. Their art might even be featured on the Keep it Clean Partnership website.

Not all participants will receive a prize, but it’s just as much of a learning opportunity as it is a contest.

Educational and creative inspiration

Coordinator Cristina Ramirez said the contest serves as an opportunity for students, families and classrooms to explore local waterways for both education and creative inspiration.

“In our shared watershed, everything is interconnected. Just like we rely on clean water, plants and animals depend on it too. They’re as vital to the ecosystem as we are,” Ramirez said.

The Boulder St. Vrain watershed is part of a larger watershed, the South Platte River basin, which is part of the Mississippi River basin.

According to the website, any water that isn’t diverted elsewhere flows from the Boulder St. Vrain watershed into the South Platte River before joining the Platte River and the Missouri River. Then it flows into the Mississippi River and eventually makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The artwork should be inspired by that interconnectivity and explore the following prompt:

Our watershed is a complex and interconnected system of land, water, air, and the humans, plants, and animals they support. Each of these members plays an important role in keeping our watershed healthy and thriving. For this art contest, we challenge you to explore the role of one of these community members in our watershed.

Free events for inspiration and education

Artists and families can find inspiration by experiencing the wonders of nature near the watershed firsthand at some free events.

On Sept. 30 and Oct. 29, families with kids of all ages are invited to a nature journaling walk to learn techniques for capturing moments in a nature journal. The guide will be presented in both English and Spanish, and art supplies will be provided.

On Oct. 28, kids in second through fifth grade can join the Boulder Watershed Collective to explore the wildlife living in the watershed.

How to enter the contest

Students K-12 living or going to school in Boulder County, including the Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District, are eligible to participate.

One grand prize winner and one honorable mention will be awarded for each of the four divisions:

  • Kindergarten through second grade
  • Third through fifth grade
  • Sixth through eighth grade
  • Ninth through 12th grade

The grand prize for each division includes a gift basket of art supplies and an Art Parts gift card. The honorable mention will also receive an Art Parts gift card.

Entries must be two-dimensional and created on letter-sized paper (8.5 by 11 inches). Artwork must be created by the student and can be made with any medium they like, whether it be crayons, paint, pencils, markers, fabric or even a collage.

Photographs or art with copyrighted characters or slogans will not be accepted.

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 17 and can be sent in digitally or through the mail. Additional details about the contest can be found on the contest website.

Winners of the contest will be announced by Dec. 15.