UACES Facebook Sculpture contests designed to bring attention to litter in Northwest Arkansas
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Sculpture contests designed to bring attention to litter in Northwest Arkansas

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
April 23, 2018

Fast Facts:

  • Sculptures to be made of found litter
  • Contest deadlines: Aug. 1 in Washington County, Aug. 4 in Benton County
  • Individual and group efforts welcome 

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Residents of Benton and Washington counties are invited to submit sculptures created from found litter to TOSSED!, an art event designed to draw attention to the problem of public littering.

Both Washington and Benton counties are holding identical events, and residents are eligible to enter the sculpture contests in their respective county. Washington County entries should be dropped off at the Washington County Cooperative Extension Service office by Aug. 1. Benton County entries should be submitted on Aug. 4 at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Sculptures from Benton County will be displayed at the Benton County Fair; sculptures submitted by Washington County residents will be submitted at the Washington County Fair. The winners of each contest will be determined by popular vote during the course of the fairs.

While unsightly, litter is particularly problematic for waterways. Trash that makes its way into storm drains goes directly into creeks, streams and rivers — not into water treatment facilities. The litter can lower the recreational value of creeks, cause harm to wildlife and create an economic burden on cities and government agencies responsible for cleaning little in public spaces. Litter cost the Arkansas Department of Transportation more than $4.6 million in 2016, when it collected more than 58,000 cubic yards of litter, according to the agency.

Individuals wanting to participate in one of the contests may enter alone or as part of a group. Each category has several competing classes, based on age: ages 5-8, 9-19, 20 and older, and mixed ages. Items used in the sculptures should be cleaned before use.

Linda Simpson, Urban Stormwater Program Assistant with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said she thinks the competitions will invite a fun approach to tackling a serious problem.

“TOSSED is not about recycling,” Simpson said. “This program is a new approach to community clean-ups. It is more than picking up the litter that has been tossed to the ground — it is turning litter into art.”

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120