The Living Soil Poster Contest

Poster contest Living Soil

The Living Soil Poster Contest is not currently accepting applications. Please check back on this page for updates on the next poster contest.

Students in 4th and 5th grades are invited to get creative and learn about the ecosystem in North Carolina through the “The Living Soil” conservation poster contest. This annual statewide educational competition has seen many Wake County students win big at the regional and state levels! The contest is sponsored by the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District and Novozymes North America, Inc., a global biotechnology company based in North Carolina.


Create an informative and colorful 22”x28” poster that answers some of these questions:

  • Show how people can protect soil and why it's so important!
  • Explain how healthy soil benefits people and all living things!
  • Illustrate how soil is an ecosystem with living things (plants, animals, bacteria, etc.) and non-living things (water, soil particles, air and organic matter).
  • TABOO #1: NO computer-generated graphics and text! Encourage all drawing and lettering to be done by hand.
  • TABOO #2: NO copyrighted cartoon characters (such as Garfield, Snoopy). Encourage the use of original characters.
  • TABOO #3: NO litter posters. Encourage posters on best management practices that build healthy, living soil!
  • Have fun!


Posters are judged based on 50% scientific content and 50% artistic originality by experts who appreciate children’s artwork. Posters must be the original work of individual students (no group posters, please). 

The Wake District judges 1st, 2nd and 3rd place classroom winners from 4th and 5th grades separately and identifies the overall TOP TEN winners from all submitted entries. From the TOP TEN, the Wake District Board selects the Top THREE winners and overall District winner, who will be announced at the Annual Conservation Awards Celebration (date to be announced.)

Awards and Prizes

Schools will submit the top three posters from each of their participating 4th and 5th-grade classrooms (or youth groups will submit their top three posters.) Each entry will receive a ribbon and certificate. The top 10 poster winners will be recognized at the Conservation Awards Celebration Dinner, sponsored by the Friends of Wake Soil and Water Conservation District.  At the event, the top ten winners will receive framed certificates and the top three will be awarded $100, $50 and $25.

The first-place 4th and 5th-grade posters advance to the regional competition, which may lead to the state competition. Winning posters that have earned first place at all three levels have awarded their student artist up to $400 in cash prizes!

How to Register and Deadline

  • To register, teachers and youth leaders of grades 4–5 can fill out the entry form by Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, and will receive a study guide, rubric and other helpful resources with science content and art tips. Please send the entry form to Conservation Specialist Winifred Dorer at
  • The top three posters from each participating classroom or youth group must be submitted flat (not rolled) for judging by Friday, Oct. 27.
  • Schools can schedule poster pickup in their school office with the Wake District. Please arrange the pick up on Oct. 25, 26 or 27. Email your preferred date to
  • Individual 4th and 5th-grade students in Wake County may also enter the contest, even if their school or youth group is not registered. In this case, the poster (flat, not rolled) must be delivered to the Wake District by the October 27 deadline.

For more information or to sponsor the Conservation Poster Contest, please email Conservation Specialist Winifred Dorer at or call 919-250-1095.