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“BEE the Change” message buzzes to top of 2023 Trash Poster Contest Calendar

Thursday, April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022
PR #22-012

Fourteen Oklahoma students will be recognized for their winning anti-littering art messages, which will be featured in the state’s 2023 annual Trash Poster Contest calendar. The creativity demonstrated by kindergarten through 12th-grade students highlights the state’s anti-litter message through art. This year’s winner, “BEE the Change: Keep Clean Oklahoma’s Land Range,” underscores the benefits of recycling and will be used statewide to promote litter abatement in the state, especially along highways.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and its partners sponsor this annual contest. There were 4,635 posters entered this year for the 2022 contest. The 14 contest winners will receive a monetary award, T-shirt, contest certificate, posterboard and laminated copy of their poster, sponsor promotional items and a state legislative citation of congratulations. The teachers of the winning students will receive a monetary award for classroom supplies and a two-day stay voucher to an Oklahoma state park courtesy of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.

“There were so many creative and passionate entries this year; it’s reassuring that our younger citizens want to take such an active role in improving the environment. Their work continues to inspire us in our mission to end littering across Oklahoma,” said Melody Johnson, ODOT beautification coordinator. “County and state judges were very impressed with the artwork and thank the students and teachers for participating and allowing this important public education effort into their classrooms.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will provide the 2023 Trash Poster calendar for free while supplies last and are expected to be distributed to state agencies, businesses and schools statewide in December. The Promotional Poster of the Year will be printed in large format for the public to use in displays to advocate for positive environmental clean-up and anti-litter efforts.

The department spends nearly $6 million in taxpayer dollars annually to combat litter along state highways and interstates while the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spends $1.5 million annually to clean along toll roads. Those totals do not include the hundreds of volunteer hours spent fighting litter across the state through events like ODOT’s annual TRASH-OFF and the national Great American Cleanup, sponsored by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful.

The contest sponsors include Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, Oklahoma’s Credit Union, OG&E, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department-Oklahoma State Parks, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Ardmore Beautification Council, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, Solid Waste Institute of Northeast Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma City Beautiful, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety/Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.

Next year’s contest begins Dec.1, 2022, and has a Jan. 31, 2023, deadline to enter posters to local DEQ county offices. For more information about the contest and entry rules, go online to or contact the ODOT Beautification Office at 405-521-2557 or email

The public can view winning posters online here.

The state winners are:

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade:

  • First Place: Relic Foster, 2nd grade, Hulbert
  • Second Place: Lydia Bundy, 2nd grade, Idabel
  • Third Place: Evan Shell, 1st grade, Stilwell

3rd - 5th Grade:

  • First Place: Ayven King, 5th grade, Edmond
  • Second Place: Tristan Tart, 4th grade, Del City
  • Third Place: Cora Moore, 5th grade, Tuttle

6th - 8th Grade:

  • First Place: Aayushi Patel, 8th grade, Sallisaw
  • Second Place: Lailey Irons, 8th grade, Kingston
  • Third Place: Bristen Robertson, 7th grade, Arnett

9th - 12th Grade:

  • First Place: Heidi Harper, 12th grade, Ardmore
  • Second Place: Austin Buchanan, 10th grade, Harrah
  • Third Place: Braxton Thompson, 12th grade, Canton


  • Brooklyn Ross, 12th grade, Hollis


  • Cadence Merchant, 11th grade, Tishomingo
Brooklyn Ross, a 12th-grader from Hollis, won the ODOT Trash Poster Contest Promotional Poster of the Year. Brooklyn’s poster will be promoted throughout the state in 2023.
An 11th-grader from Tishomingo, Cadence Merchant’s poster will be published on the 2023 ODOT Trash Poster Contest entry form.
Last Modified on Apr 14, 2022
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