GRDA Hosting First “Trash Art” Contest For Students

Fish love bugs, just not litter bugs!

GRDA Trash Art contest

Lakes, rivers, and streams are home to millions of aquatic creatures, from the largest catfish to the smallest caddisfly larvae. However, all of these creatures can be impacted in some way by the trash that gets washed into the waterways.

To help bring awareness to this issue and how trash can impact the aquatic community, the Grand River Dam Authority is hosting a unique art contest for 3rd to 8th grade students who attend school in the Grand River Watershed.

The art must be an original piece constructed completely of items considered trash. GRDA encourages participating classes to pick up trash in their neighborhood, on their property, in town or around the school to use in the art piece.

The piece must depict a way trash impacts waterways (the Grand River watershed) and the fish and bugs that live in them and the animals that use them.

Teachers who are interested in participating should contact Courtney Stookey at [email protected] or 918-316-7178 for rules and more information. Art pieces should be brought to the Ecosystems and Education Center by 4:30 p.m. on April 14th.

Many people recognize trash impacts our oceans, but the same impacts happen in our own streams and lakes.

“I was doing an education event where I collected macroinvertebrates from a stream and found a caddisfly larvae stuck in a small peppermint wrapper. I was able to use that to show the students how something as small as that wrapper was having an impact,” said Jeri Fleming, GRDA ecosystems and watershed management staff.

The class with the winning art piece will receive a free class trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium. Awards will also be given for 2nd and 3rd place. Pieces will be judged on originality/creativity, interpretation of aquatic theme and material usage. Each class submitting an art piece will have the opportunity to visit the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley to see some of the other art pieces entered and to learn more about what they can do to help protect our water resources.

Students are encouraged to use their creativity to help spread awareness about the harmful effects of trash on the environment. The winning art piece will be highlighted at the updated GRDA exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Several other art pieces will be displayed at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center.

“GRDA is committed to promoting environmental education and conservation efforts, and we believe this contest is an excellent way to inspire young minds to take an active role in protecting our watershed,” said GRDA Vice President of Ecosystems and Watershed Management Dr. Darrell Townsend. “We look forward to seeing the creative and innovative ideas that students will come up with for this contest.”

GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees, and efficiency.

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