The Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest

Since 1961, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs Inc. have worked together to sponsor an annual poster contest that reaches elementary children throughout the United States. The contest helps promote Smokey Bear and his fire prevention message “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires” and Woodsy Owl and his conservation message  “Lend a Hand – Care for the Land”.

1st through 5th grade students are invited to demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl their understanding of fire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles.

The Grand Prize National Poster Contest Winner wins a free trip to Washington DC, including round trip airfare and accommodations for four, to attend the Recognition Ceremony. A $50 check, sponsored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc., is awarded to the First Place National Winners from each grade level Poster Winners.

Click on the links below for winning posters from previous years:

Contest Materials

Click on the links below for information about the 2014 Poster Contest:

Poster Rules

  1. All poster entrees must be sponsored by a local Garden Club. Go to National Garden Clubs Inc. or contact a local Garden Club Director to find local clubs.
     
  2. Posters must feature either Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl, and must not feature both together.
     
  3. Smokey Bear posters must be based upon and include, Smokey’s fire prevention message: "Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires!".  Woodsy Owl posters must be based upon and include, Woodsy’s conservation message: "Lend a Hand – care for the Land!"
     
  4. The posters should encourage children to take a personal role in preventing wildfires or conserving natural resources. 
     
  5. Entry should be 11 x 17 inches in size.
     
  6. Materials that can be used include: crayons, markers, poster paints, water colors, etc.
     
  7. No three-dimensional posters, computer scanned, or electronically generated images will be accepted!
     
  8. Put the following information on the back of the poster in the lower-right corner: The artist’s name and grade, the name of the sponsoring local garden club, and the name, address, phone number, and email of the contact at the local garden club (such as the Club President or the Youth Chair). If it is permissible, please include the teacher’s name, and the address, phone number, and email address for the artist and/or their parent or guardian. Be cautious if using a dark marker as it may show through. This information may be either written directly on the back of the poster or written on a separate sheet of paper that is then pasted in place. 

  9. Posters are to be completed by individual students artists.  Competition may include students from 1st to 5th grade.

  10. The local Garden Club chair for the Smokey and Woodsy poster contest must submit the poster contest entries no later than January 23, 2014 to his or her State Chair for the Woodsy and Smokey poster contest.

  11. The State Garden Club Chair must submit the five winning posters from his or her State to their Regional Garden Clubs Inc for the Smokey and Woodsy poster contest by February 14, 2014.

Poster Tips

  1. A good poster has a bold and simple design.
     
  2. Its message is delivered both in the picture and the slogan.
     
  3. Its message is easily understood.
     
  4. Posters are to be completed by individual student artists. Competition may include students from 1st to 5th grade.
     
  5. Posters will be judged 20 percent each for originality, design, slogan, artwork, and overall effectiveness of the message. 

Poster Rights – All entries will become property of the U. S. Forest Service.  Posters will not be returned to contestants.  The U. S. Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs, Inc., may use the poster artwork for national educational materials and outreach. 

Contacts:

U.S. Forest Service – National Symbols Program Manager, Iris L. Vélez, (202) 205-0991, ivelez@fs.fed.us

             
Link to the National Garden Clubs Inc. contest page.