The Poster Contest is open to k-12 students in Elkhart County.

Theme overview

But what is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers,  eventually leading to outflow points such as reservoirs, bays, and the ocean. Those bodies of water are all connected, so every drop that falls becomes part of one water.

Watersheds can be any size and usually have some high points of land like hills, mountains, or ridges. When rain, sleet, or snow falls to the ground, the precipitation runs from those higher points to the lower points. Gravity pulls the water downhill until it reaches a body of water. If the land in the watershed is steep, the water usually runs off into rivers or streams. If the land in the watershed is level, the water will slowly flow into lakes or ponds, or seep into the soil and add to  groundwater. If the watershed  is close to the ocean, then tidal marshes, estuaries, and wetlands will be part of the watershed. From the top of the mountain all the way to the coast, it is all one water.

Have you ever watched it rain? The raindrops fall on the ground and flow through the soil. Water soaks through the soil until it reaches groundwater, which is water that moves through spaces in soil and rock underground. A lot of the water we use and drink every day comes from water in the ground. As it rains and the water runs off, it collects in rivers, lakes, and oceans and then returns to the atmosphere to fall as rain somewhere else. All land across the entire earth is made up of watersheds. We all live in a watershed. We share the water in our watershed with other people, with animals, and with plants because‚Ķ it is all one water.


  • Poster must be on 11″x17″ paper.
  • Poster must be in landscape/horizontal orientation.

Poster Design

  • Poster must include the theme title (listed at the top of this page).
  • Poster design must reflect the theme (listed at the top of this page).
  • Any media maybe used (crayons, colored pencils, paint, collage, charcoal, stickers, paper, etc.).
  • Poster must be student’s original artwork (no tracing of existing pictures/posters).

What makes a good poster?

  • Attracts attention
  • Is simple and concise
  • Uses colors and white spaces effectively
  • Text is large enough to be easily read
  • Text and illustrations are well balanced (not all one or the other)
  • Uses theme
  • Research the theme to brainstorm poster ideas
  • Doesn’t use staples, tacks, or tape.
  • Doesn’t use fluorescent-colored paper


  • Please include on the back of the poster student first and last name, school, grade, and teacher.
  • Posters may be mailed, scanned and emailed, or picked up for large groups.
  • If mailing, please send to Elkhart County SWCD, ATTN Poster Contest, 59358 County Road 7, Elkhart, IN 46517.
  • If emailing, please send in one pdf document (you may have to compress if too large) and email to with the subject line “Poster Contest”.
  • If you have a lot of posters from several grade levels or classes, an SWCD staff member may be able to pick up the posters from your school. Please coordinate with other teachers in your building, so that the SWCD is only making one stop.
  • Once posters are submitted they will become the property of the Elkhart County SWCD. We will do our best to return posters to students after judging has occurred.
  • Poster must be submitted by January 12, 2024.


  • Posters will be judged in four age categories: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th.
  • Posters will be judged by an education committee.
  • Top 3 winners will be selected from each age category.
  • Winners will have their posters featured at the Elkhart County SWCD annual meeting in the spring (see calendar for date).
  • Prizes will be awarded to the top posters.
  • The #1 poster contest winner will have their poster featured in the Elkhart County SWCD annual report.


If you have any questions please contact Jenna at 574-523-2033 or email