19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl Poster Contest

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forestry Service and National Garden Clubs, Incorporated invite first through fifth grade students to participate in the Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl Garden Club poster contest.
The National Grand prize winner will win a trip to Washington, DC for a recognition ceremony. The trip includes round-trip airfare and accommodations for four.
National Garden Clubs, Inc. will award a $100.00 Savings Bond to the national first place winner for each grade level category.
Smokey Bear’s Message is always the same,
“Only YOU Can prevent Wildfires!”

Woodsy Owl’s Message, “Lend a Hand-Care for the Land.” 

Deadline to State Youth Chairman NO later than Dec. 1st 

Poster Rules

  • All poster entrees must be sponsored by a local Garden Club.
  • Posters must feature Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl andmust not feature both together.
  • 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!
  • The entry posters should encourage children to take a personal role in preventing wildfires or conserving natural resources.
  • Each entry should be 11 x 17 inches in size.
  • Materials that can be used include: crayons, markers, poster paints, water colors, etc.
  • No three-dimensional posters, computer scanned, or electronically generated images will be accepted!
  • The artist’s name, address, home phone number, grade level, school, teacher’s name, city, and State must be printed on the back of the poster in the lower right corner. Each poster must also show the name of the sponsoring local Garden Club. (Do not use a dark marker for this information as it may show through.)
  • Posters are to be completed by individual student artists. Competition may include students from 1st to 5th grade.
  • The Local Garden Club Chair must submit the poster entries no later than January 20, to his or her State’s Chair.
  • The State Garden Club Chair must submit the five winning posters from his or her State to their Regional Garden Club Chair by February 17.
Poster Tips
  • A good poster has a bold and simple design.
  • Its message is delivered both in the picture and in the slogan.
  • Its message is easily understood.
  • Posters will be judged 20 percent each for originality, design, slogan, artwork, and overall effectiveness of the message.
More Tips for a Successful Poster Contest Participation
  • Children will select either one of the icons to enter.
  • Since Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are official icons, protected by Congressional law, the colors of their clothing need to be accurate. Check the colors on the website www.symbols.gov.
  • You must follow the rules that include how you identify the poster.
  • Please check the spelling. Posters with misspelling errors will be disqualified.
  • Approach any group of children: such as scout troops, after school programs, and the like. Just make sure the child’s grade is included, so the participant can compete in their grade category.
  • You might even try providing the paper for the contest in order to initiate the program.
  • The members of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. can purchase Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl promotional and educational products at the National Symbols Cache web based catalog. Please log on at www.symbols.gov/catalog. Be sure to follow the instructions. To place an order you need a password—please download the More Tips below for the password information.
  • Feel free to offer certificate of appreciation to all participants. Certificates are available and downloadable atwww.symbols.gov. The National Garden Clubs, Inc. will make certificates at their website also.
  • Participating in this contest is an opportunity to encourage conservation, environmental protection, or at least an awareness of nature for children.
  • Collaboration between the US Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs, Inc.’s is important. You can contribute to this collaborative effort by completing the form that indicates how many contacts per state were made. It doesn’t matter how many entries your state may have, it is essential for us to know if your state sent materials to twenty children or two hundred. The US Forest Service invests tax payer money in keeping this partnership alive. We need to help them justify the use of these funds by providing an estimate of our outreach efforts with the Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl poster contest.
  • The Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl poster contest is one of those opportunities for local Garden Clubs to get out its message. We encourage you to use the contest to promote your club, attract children and their parents, and fulfill one of the goals of the organization that is raise awareness for the caring of the environment.
  • Copy your winning posters as they are not returned.
  • If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Elaine Dates.
Thank you so much for your support and commitment to our partnership with the US Forest Service.
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.