The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition hosted another year of the Bridging Futures contest to incorporate transportation and wildlife safety education into statewide elementary school classrooms – our annual Bridging Futures Contest.

We entered classrooms and distributed lesson plans to classrooms throughout the state, and had entries submitted from Yakima to Tacoma.  Students were asked to draw artwork and write essays to help inform motorists of this problem and/or propose their own creative solutions to help create safer passage.  We were thrilled with the creativity and thought that went into the entries this year producing our Top 10 finalists.   On June 11th, Governor Gregoire announced the top two winners from our state at the Western Governors Association’s annual meeting.  The 2012 Bridging Futures winners are:

“It is an honor to once again serve as a judge for the Bridging Futures contest,” said 2012 contest judge 12th District Representative Mike Armstrong.  “It is also one of the more challenging roles as each of the artists in the Top 10 category contributed unique drawings with ideas about how we can better engineer highways and bridges to accommodate wildlife safety in Washington. After careful deliberation, I chose the drawing submitted by Krista Heald, a third-grade student at Mountainview Elementary School in Yakima. Krista’s drawing captured an accurate description of Interstate 90 running through the Cascades and often next to a stream or waterway. I especially like the animal overpass in her drawing, which shows how the Washington State Department of Transportation is providing an access corridor to protect wildlife and ensure traffic safety. I wish to thank everyone who submitted drawings in this educational contest.”

We’d like to congratulate the students in our Top 10 (click on their name to view their artwork and essay):  Tyler Freese (Cottonwood Elementary), Trinity Pelham (Roosevelt Elementary), Krista Heald (Mountainview Elementary), Sophia Copeland (TOPS Elementary), Lily May (Cedarhurst Elementary), Lia Berhe (Dunlap Elementary), Joshua Gonzalez-Voyvodich (Cedarhurst Elementary), Joshua Cochran (Jefferson Elementary), Brian Serna (Roosevelt Elementary), and Axel Oxholm (Cedarhurst Elementary).

Judges of this year’s contest include Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond, Charlie Raines (I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition), Representative Judy Clibborn, Representative Mike Armstrong, Patty Garvey Darda (US Forest Service), Senator Curtis King, Sid Morrison, and Jennifer Ziegler of Governor Gregoire’s office.

The two winning ads will run on a billboard along I-90 this fall to educate motorists, while all Top 10 entries will be framed and travel in a roadshow along the I-90 corridor on display in businesses.  The classroom of the two winning students received $200 to purchase supplies to keep their creativity going.

Click here to view our Top 10 entries on our Flickr page, and stay tuned to learn about our winners. Just click on each artwork to read the essay written by the student to explain their work.

Click here to view photos from the announcement of the winners at the Western Governors Association meeting on June 11th.



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