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River of Words® IOWA Environmental Poetry and Art Exhibit

River of Words® (ROW) conducts an environmental poetry and art contest for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12 every year. ROW is a Project of The Center for Environmental Literacy at St. Mary's College of California. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of their own watershed, and to express what they discover through poetry and art. Winners of the international contest will be announced in April of each year, and are honored in a mid-April ceremony at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. Eight grand prize winners from the US and a "Teacher of the Year" will win round-trip transportation from the winner’s nearest major airport to Washington, D.C. from ROW International.

Entries not chosen as finalists or grand prize winners in the international contest are returned to Iowa, where they are judged in an Iowa statewide River of Words contest. The Iowa winners, runners-up and honorable mention then travel the state as part of the Iowa River of Words Exhibit.

2014 Iowa River of Words® Exhibit Schedule:

Sept 8- 26- Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium- Dubuque, IA
Oct 6- 24- Hurtsville Interpretative Center- Maquoketa, IA
Nov 3-20- Prairie Heritage Center- Peterson, IA
Jan 5-23- Hartman Reserve Nature Center- Cedar Falls, IA
Feb 2-20- Figge Art Musuem- Davenport, IA
Mar 2-20- Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center- Toddville, IA

For specific information (artwork and poetry requirements, due dates, contact information, etc.) visit the ROW website.

2014 Iowa River of Words® Environmental Poetry & Art Contest Results
Thirty-six Iowa students have been announced as the winners, runner-ups or honorable mentions in the 2014 Iowa River of Words® (ROW) Environmental Poetry and Art Contest.  The students’ poems and art were selected from hundreds of entries submitted to the contest. The results are as follows:


Kindergarten to 3rd Grade
Winner: On the Shore by Olivia Strang
Runner-up: River by Nathan Moser
Honorable mention: Waste in the Water by Aubrey Opperman
Honorable mention: Cattails by Colten Teem
Honorable mention: Rain by Jaden Sochit

4th-6th Grade
Winner: Bullied Leaves by Celesta Cox
Runner-up: Home Sweet Home by Kennedy Boyd
Honorable mention: The Stream by Janae Kasterndick
Honorable mention: Forest Voices by Mitchell Oberfoell
Honorable mention: Super Cell by Mitchell Oberfoell
Honorable mention: River of Thoughts by Jude Borromeo

7th-9th Grade
Winner: Unforgotten Memories by Shivani Kumaresan
Runner-up: Rain by Tessa Meyer
Honorable mention: Ocean at Dusk by Hope Roland
Honorable mention: In the Woods by Lauryn Brown

10th-12th Grade
Winner: Transformation by Victoria Taylor
Runner-up: Renewed by Lorraine Pereira
Honorable mention: Where is IT? By Arika Allen
Honorable mention: Peril by Alexis King
Honorable mention: The Wondrous Woods by Collin Herington


Kindergarden to 3rd grade
Winner: Stream by Hannah Serdareric
Runner-up: Tropical Water Fall by Sophie Cochran
Honorable mention: Watershed by Nathan Moser

4th-6th Grade
Winner: The Sea by Adam McFee
Runner-up: Chameleon by Emma Chambers
Honorable mention: Daphne’s Pond by Meridan Boyd
Honorable mention: Robin by Emma Chambers

7th-9th Grade
Winner: Untitled by Sam Whelan
Runner-up: Sunligh by Karlin McGarvey
Honorable mention: Tiptoe by Zoe Dill
Honorable mention: First Snow by Maddie Mann

10th-12th Grade 
Winner: Hedwig Abstracted by Justeen Schoner
Runner-up: The Crown by Micheal Helmich
Honorable mention: Elephant by Jamie Thurston
Honorable mention: Italian Waterfront by Rachel Lyle
Honorable mention: The Ocean Reclaims by Hannah Hansen
Honorable mention: Bridge Over Iowa Water by Suzanna Host

Flickr Icon, Logo 2014 ROW Photos:

River of Words®
also publishes an annual poetry book of winning submissions, selected by Robert Hass, and exhibits the children’s paintings at museums, libraries, conferences, and other venues around the world. The contest is free, and every child is acknowledged with a personalized “Watershed Explorer” certificate. Children may enter on their own or through schools, nature centers, libraries, youth clubs, and other organizations.

For specific information (artwork and poetry requirements, due dates, contact information, etc.) visit the ROW website.

Here's how it works:

  1. Entries must be postmarked and submitted directly to River of Words by December 1st each year.

  2. ROW returns Iowa's entries to Iowa in April for Iowa's statewide competition.

  3. State winners are chosen in May.

Send entries by December 1 to:
River of Words
PO Box 5060
Moraga, CA 94575-5060
Phone: 925-631-4289

Exhibitors from previous years' contests

2013 Exhibit program
2012 Exhibit Program 
2011 Exhibit Program
2010 Exhibit Program
2009 Exhibit Program
2008 Exhibit Program
2007 Exhibit Program
2006 Exhibit Program
2005 Exhibit Program
2004 Exhibit Program