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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 "Teach 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.

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

2014 Iowa River of Words® Exhibit Schedule


Sept 8- 26- Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Oct 6- 24- Hurtsville Interpretative Center

Nov 3-20- Prairie Heritage Center

Dec 1-19- OPEN

Jan 5-23- Hartman Reserve Nature Center

Feb 2-20- Figge Art Musuem

Mar 2-20- OPEN

March 30- 24- Knoxville Public Lib

May 25-June 12- OPEN


Flickr Icon, Logo

2013 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