Four Big Blue Buses have become rolling showcases for local students who designed posters that best demonstrated what sustainable transportation means to them.

The students will be awarded grand prizes at a special event on Thursday, May 13 as part of the city-sponsored sustainability poster contest. The competition is held each year to coincide with a variety of Earth Day activities around the city.

The grand prize winning artwork is currently on display on four BBB exteriors, which will remain up throughout the next month. Two runners-up from each of the four age groups will also have their artwork displayed on the interiors of the same buses.

The theme for this year’s contest was, “Go Green, Ride Blue. What does sustainable transit mean to you?” and was sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, the BBB and Sustainable Works. The contest was open to all kindergarten through 12th grade students who live or attend school in Santa Monica.

Grand prize winners are Nell Kerndt from Edison Language Academy; Gigi Grossman from Roosevelt Elementary; Shayan Chetty from Lincoln Middle School; and Chelsea Palmer from Santa Monica High School.

“Helping kids of all ages become more aware of public transportation and its significance to sustainability is an important goal for us,” said Dan Dawson, customer relations manager for the BBB. “I know the contest winners and their families must be thrilled seeing their posters on so many buses around town.”

The poster contest is held each year to raise awareness of Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan, which was created to protect the natural environment, prevent harm to human health, enhance resources, and benefit the social and economic well-being of the community for current and future generations.

In addition to the grand prize and runner-up entries, all student artwork submitted for the competition will be on display at the May 13 event. The event takes place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Beach Park no. 1, located at 2600 Barnard Way in Santa Monica.

In support of this year’s theme, people are encouraged to take public transportation, walk, bike or carpool to the event. A complimentary valet service will be provided for bicyclists.

In addition to the student artwork, festivities will include food, giveaways and raffle prizes, including a special raffle for attendees who turn in their bus or bike valet tickets.

The event is free, and accessible via Line 1. Parking is available for $7 at Parking Lot 4 South at 2030 Ocean Ave. or Parking Lot 5 South at 2600 Barnard Way.

— DP

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