WDFW/WISC invasive species art contest winners!


The Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently held an invasive species art contest for students, and the results are amazing!

School-age students were asked to help spread the word about not spreading invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms that don’t naturally live in Washington and, when brought here, can cause economic and environmental harm. Invasive species can outcompete native species for food and habitat and may even eat native species. Once established, they can proliferate and cost millions of dollars to control. They also harm utility, agriculture, and tourism industries.

“The work of the young artists who participated in this contest will help get the word out about the damage invasive species can do and how it impacts all of us,” said Stephanie Helms, WISC executive coordinator. “The creativity of these artists really blew us away!’

The contest was divided into three divisions of students, with three winners and an honorable mention winner selected from each division:

  • Grade school (kindergarten through grade 5)
  • Middle school (grades 6–8)
  • High school (grades 9–12)

Submissions were required to include pictures or information on a specific invasive species of the artist’s choosing. Mediums such as photographs, illustrations, cartoons, digital paintings, and hand drawings were all accepted. Below are the winning submissions for each division.

Grades K-5

First place
Artist: Tyler, age 8
School: Trout Lake School, Trout Lake

From left to right: Second place winning art by Neveah, Age 11, Pioneer Elementary, Sunnyside; Third place winning art by Truman, Mead Outdoor School, Spokane; Honorable Mention winner Juniper, 11, Trout Lake School, Trout Lake

Grades 6–8

First place
Artist: Natalie, Age 14
School: Mt. Baker Middle School, Auburn

From left to right: Second place winning art by Issa, Age 12, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Olympia; Third place winning art by Axel, Wind River Middle School, Carson; Honorable Mention winner Chloe, 8, Homeschool, Waterville

Grades 9–12

First place
Artist: Flora, Age 16
School: Newport High School, Bellevue

From left to right: Second place winning art by Crystal, Age 15, Newport High School, Bellevue, WA; Third place winning art by Lauren, Newport High School, Bellevue; Honorable Mention winner Christine, 17, Newport High School, Bellevue

The first-place submissions from each division will be displayed at aquatic invasive species check stations in Spokane, Clarkston, Cle Elum, and on U.S. Route 395 near the Tri-Cities. They also will hang inside WDFW’s invasive species outreach trailer that travels throughout Washington to fairs, festivals, and other events to educate people about the threat of invasive species. The first-place winner for each division received a $100 Amazon gift card and a poster print of the art, while second place received a $50 Amazon gift card, and third place a $25 Amazon gift card.

“Across the board, the submissions were incredible,” said Justin Bush, WDFW’s aquatic invasive species policy coordinator. “This artwork will visually convey the importance of invasive species prevention when people visit our watercraft check stations to have their boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and other craft inspected for invasive species that could spread into, or between, Washington’s waters.”

Preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species requires actions such as not releasing unwanted pets into the environment, being aware of which plants are in yards, or ensuring that boat and fishing equipment are cleaned, drained, and dry before being moved between waterbodies. WDFW and WISC promote simple actions that anyone can take to become part of the solution and protect Washington’s land and water for future generations.



The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.