Youth Poster Contest

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The 2023 National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) poster contest theme is ONE WATER. As humans, we are challenged to take care of our waters that sustain us and the animals, plants, and ecosystems that love.  To take care of something, we first must understand it.  All of our waters are connected through the path that water travels in the water cycle.  From the sun’s energy driving evaporation, to the force of gravity pulling down precipitation, all parts of the water cycle are connected – ONE WATER!

Water, whether used for domestic or agricultural purposes, is the life blood of our community. Stewardship is an essential part of the strategy needed to ensure the availability of this resource for future. Taos SWCD is committed to supporting landowners, resource managers, and our youth with the information needed to be responsible stewards of our water resources.

All Kindergarten through 12th grade students in Taos County are eligible to enter a poster. Here are the rules, an entry form, and some educational resources that might help you young artists illustrate the connectivity between all parts of the water cycle:

Poster Contest Rules

• Traditional hand-painted or drawn posters can be completed on any sized paper and then must be photographed or scanned and submitted as .pdf or .jpg files to  Students can also bring the actual poster to the Taos SWCD office at 220 Chamisa Road in Taos before May 26th at 5 PM. 

• Any media may be used, including paint, crayon, colored pencil, charcoal, stickers, paper, or other materials.

• All posters must be created by an individual student.  Entry must be contestant’s original creation and may not be traced from photographs or other artists’ published works.

• The 2023 Stewardship theme “One Water” must be included as a title on the front side of each poster submission.

• Each poster entry must be submitted to TSWCD with an entry form to be eligible for judging. The form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian.

• Although younger students will most likely receive help in planning from parents or teachers, students are encouraged to do their own work.

Note: Entries with student handwriting and coloring will score better than those designed, drawn, and colored by adult assistance

Poster Contest Entry Form

Learning Resources

Below are some resources to help you better understand how water cycles through our planet.  Hopefully you can gain some inspiration for a great poster!


What is the water cycle? The water cycle describes where water is on Earth and how it moves. Water is stored in the atmosphere, on the land surface, and below the ground. It can be a liquid, a solid, or a gas. Liquid water can be fresh or saline (salty). Water moves between the places it is stored. Water moves at large scales, through watersheds, the atmosphere, and below the Earth’s surface. Water moves at very small scales too. It is in us, plants, and other organisms. Human activities impact the water cycle, affecting where water is stored, how it moves, and how clean it is. (Courtesy of USGS 2023, learn more at USGS WATER CYCLE)

Test your water cycle knowledge here!

Beginner Intermediate Advanced


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… it is all one water. (Courtesy of NACD 2023)