ST. JAMES—Due to the rising number of school closures amidst the Coronavirus concerns, Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District has moved the deadline for submitting projects from March 20 to April 10. Entries for all categories (trash art, hand-drawn poster and graphic arts poster) may be dropped off at the county clerk offices at the nearest courthouse or at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), located at 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. If submitting five or more projects, contact MRPC to arrange transport.

The Ozark Rivers Earth Day contest is a poster and trash art competition open to all students in grades kindergarten through 12th in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Homeschool students meeting these criteria are eligible and encouraged to participate. The graphic art portion of the contest is also open to post-secondary students. This year’s theme focuses on protecting the planet and reducing the use of single purpose plastics, such as straws, bags and cups.

Students have the opportunity to participate in multiple contest categories, including posters (hand-drawn and graphic arts), and re-purposing recyclables and trash into three-dimensional pieces of trash art. All art entries should echo the theme of the contest and an underlying solid waste reduction theme to rethink, refuse, reduce, re-purpose, reuse and then recycle.

First and second place contest winners will each receive prizes, provided by sponsor donations. Honorable mention projects will also be recognized. All prizes will be earth-friendly, with the first prize valued at $30, second prize valued at $10 and honorable mention prizes valued at $5.

Full contest rules are available at or by emailing Jill Hollowell, environmental program specialist, at

The Ozark Rivers District consists of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more.

The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), provides grants, education and supports waste reduction efforts in member counties and cities.

For more information about ORSWMD or recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers region, please visit or contact Tammy Snodgrass at 573-265-2993 or by email at You can also follow Ozark Rivers on Facebook at

MRPC provides the day-to-day management for ORSWMD.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 33 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at