Smokey the Bear

Smokey Bear ~ Woodsy Owl Poster Contest


Announcing the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest!

Children from first through fifth grade are invited to participate in the  National Garden Clubs, Inc. Poster Contest!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. are giving students the opportunity to demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl their understanding of wildfire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles.


Smokey Bear is recognized nationally and internationally as the symbol for fire prevention. The original Smokey Bear appeared in 1944. Smokey’s message, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires!” encourages personal responsibility for fire prevention. Smokey Bear teaches children and adults to be careful with campfires, barbecues, trash fires, and matches.


Woodsy Owl is America’s icon for the conservation of the environment. Since 1971, Woodsy has helped parents and teachers inspire children to observe, explore, and care for the environment.

He challenges children to “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land!” and to take an active role in caring for the land through recycling, reusing, and reducing waste, planting and caring for trees, using resources wisely, and not littering.

• The National Grand Prize Winner of the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest will be honored with a Recognition Ceremony in Washington, DC. Round-trip airfare and accommodations for four will be provided.

• A $100 U.S. Savings Bonds, sponsored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. will be awarded to each of the First Place national winners in all five grades.

Poster Rules

1. All poster entrees must be sponsored by a local Garden Club.

2. Posters must feature Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl and must not feature both together.

3. Smokey Bear posters must be based upon and include Smokey’s fire prevention message: Only you Can Prevent Wildfires!. Woodsy Owl posters must be based upon and include Woodsy’s conservation message: Lend a Hand, Care for the Land!

4. Posters should encourage children to take a personal role in preventing wildfires or conserving natural resources.

5. Each entry should be 11 x 17 inches in size.

6. Materials that can be used include: crayons, markers, poster paints, water colors, etc.

7. No three-dimensional posters, computer scanned, or electronically generated images will be accepted!

8. The artist’s name, address, home phone number, grade level, school, teacher’s name, city, and state must be printed on the back of the poster in the lower right corner. Each poster must also show the name of the sponsoring local Garden Club. (Do not use a dark marker for this information as it may show through.) Should school policy preclude giving students’ address and phone number, please include the school address and phone number as well as an address, phone number, and email for the local Garden Club.

9. Posters are to be completed by individual student artists. Competition may include students from first to fifth grade.

10. The Local Garden Club Chair must submit the poster entries to his or her state Chairman no later than January 20. The State Garden Club Chair must submit the five winning posters from his/her state to Regional Garden Club Chairman

11. Since Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are official icons protected by law, the colors of their clothing need to be accurate. Check the colors on the Web site

Poster Tips

1. A good poster has a bold and simple design.

2. Its message is delivered both in the picture and in the slogan.

3. Its message is easily understood.

4. Posters will be judged 20 percent each for originality, design, slogan, artwork, and overall effectiveness of the message.

Additional Information