The Snohomish Conservation District has a way to encourage youth to explore the environment. 

As part of its annual Youth Art Contest, youth are encouraged to explore and document it by making a nature journal. 

“It’s really encouraging youth to take what they see and not just look at it, but write about it,” said Kathryn Wells, communications program manager with the Snohomish Conservation District. “We want people, especially now, to get outside.”

The Snohomish Conservation District has a resource page on its website, www.snohomishcd.org, to provide guidance on how youth should develop their nature journals. 

“We wanted to provide resources they can do with their parents,” Wells said. 

Students, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, who live in Snohomish County or Camano Island can participate in the contest. Five categories based on the grade level of the student are available and each student is limited to one entry. Awards will be given for the top three in each age group as well as a People’s Choice award. 

The fourth-annual art contest was developed to get children involved in the Snohomish Conservation District’s Native Plant Sale, Wells said. The next plant sale takes place Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. Because of the pandemic, people order online and pick-up their purchase on one of the sale days.

“Kids are so creative. To see how kids see the world is so interesting,” Wells said. 

Between 50 and 100 kids enter the contest every year. People used to be able to see the entries when they attended the Native Plant Sale. Since the people have to pre-order plants online and can only pick-up their purchases at the fairgrounds, people have to go online to view the current crop of entries. 

Wells said a link for the youth art projects hasn’t been developed yet. Entries can be submitted until Feb. 10. If an entry has to be mailed, then contact the conservation district office beforehand. 

Conservation District officials prefer youth submit entries online. To access the online entry form, go to www.snohomishcd.org and click on the Youth Art Contest image. Options for entry include a parent/youth option and a teacher classroom option. 

Entries are due by Feb. 10.

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