Storm Drain Art Contest

Did you know that most storm drains in Montgomery County lead directly to our streams?  No?  You are not alone! There is a BIG misconception that the water and trash that enters storm drains will be cleaned.

The truth is that the trash, pollution, chemicals and yard waste that gets dumped into our storm drains eventually flows into our local streams, which then pollutes our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

What can we do about this problem?  The answer is educate!


Art and the Environment: The 2020 Contest

Stay tuned for 2020 announcements!

A key way that you can help us educate others is through your art.  Use your creative skills to spread the word that storm drains lead to our local streams and illegal dumping negatively affects fish, wildlife, and the quality of our drinking water.

In January 2019, we launched our 4th Storm Drain Art Contest. The winners had their art recreated on storm drains throughout Germantown.  Many people walk past the art each year and inspired by the art to protect our environment and waterways.  Artists of all ages can participate.

Winners of the 2019 Contest:

Let's Love The Bay-Fight Litter, Natasha Isler of Silver Spring, Category Fight Litter,

Winners of the 2018 Contest:

2018 Storm Drain Art Contest Winners

Painted Storm Drains:

Storm Drain Art


Contest Details:

Who Can Enter?

Any resident of Montgomery County, MD. All ages can submit art, however, entries by those under 18 years of age require a parent or guardian signature.


What is the Prize?

The five winners will see their art painted on storm drains in Germantown during Earth Month (April) 2019!

The art will be visible to the public and will play an important role in educating County residents on water quality issues. Plus, the art will help beautify the County and add a pop of color and beauty to typically boring storm drains.



4/5/2019 – Contest Now Closed. Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest by submitting entries or voting online for the People’s Choice Winner!



How Do I Enter?

Step 1. Determine if this contest is right for you.  The Storm Drain Art Contest is limited to residents of Montgomery County, MD.  Employees of Montgomery County, MD government, contest judges, or family of contest judges are not eligible.

Step 2. Read the Rules and Restrictions (.pdf, 402KB)  It explains the details, timing, and requirements of the contest.  For additional info, check out the Storm Drain Art Contest FAQs (.pdf, 959KB).

Step 3.  Get creative! Think about what message you would like to communicate about water quality, pollution and our streams. Sketch out some ideas, test them on family and friends. Also think about what medium you would like to create the art – on a computer, hand drawn, etc.

Step 4.  Create your art work.  Utilizing the guidelines in the Rules and Restrictions (.pdf, 402KB), you can submit up to two (2) art designs to the contest.

Step 5. Depending on the medium your art was created in, either convert it to a .PDF, .jpg, or .png file or take a picture of your art in those formats. Try to make the picture as crisp and clear as possible and capture the entire piece in one picture.   (If you are submitting two designs, they should each be a separate file.)

Step 6. Complete one Entry and Release Form (.pdf, 166KB) for each design. In an email, send the Release Form and the art file (.pdf, .jpg or .png) to The total file size of the Release Form and art file should be no bigger than 6MB. (If submitting two pieces, each file and accompanying Release Form should be in a separate email). If you do not receive an automatic reply, your entry might not have been received.  Call 240-777-7778 to assist with your entry.


Required Documents

There are two required documents that every contest participant should download:

  • Rules and Restrictions  (.pdf, 402KB)  This document has all the information you need to successfully enter the contest
  • Entry and Release Form (.pdf, 166KB) This document has the Entry and Release Forms that must be completed and submitted with the original art work



The top four winners will be selected by a panel of judges.  The fifth winner will be chosen by public voting on Facebook.  The public will have one week to “like” their favorite art designs.  The art design with the highest number of likes by the closing date will be a winner.

Currently, public voting is expected to start on March 11th, 2019 and close by March 15th, 2019 at 4:00pm EDT. Anyone wishing to vote without using Facebook can email to request the images of the finalists via email.  You will be able to vote via the same email.


Helpful Resources


Share This Contest with Friends and Neighbors!

Help us spread the word about this contest.  Download the 2019 Stormdrain Art Contest Flyer and distribute it far and wide.

The contest is hosted by the DEP and the Upcounty Regional Services Center in collaboration with Muddy Branch Alliance, Seneca Creek Watershed Partnership, Department of Transportation and Montgomery Parks.

DEP Logo