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TCEQ announces Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest winners

March 30, 2023 - Congratulations are in order for the winners in each of the grade level categories

Contact: Laura Lopez

Phone: 512-239-5000

After Hrs: 512-239-5000

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is proud to announce the 2023 Take Care of Texas Art Contest grand prize winners.

Every year, students from across the state gather their crayons, markers, or colored pencils to create the top drawings that share their knowledge on how to keep Texas’ air and water clean, reduce waste, and conserve water and energy. This year, with three grade-level categories ranging from kindergarten through 5th grade and the theme of water, students were challenged to show how they, along with their friends and family, help conserve water and keep it clean.

More than 4,100 entries were received.  From there the initial entries were narrowed down to 18 finalists (6 in each category). After that, TCEQ staff members from across the state narrowed down the field to the final two drawings in each category. For the final round of judging, TCEQ commissioners, executive staff, and representatives from the contest sponsor, Texas Chemical Council, reviewed and voted to select a grand prize and runner-up in each category.

The following students were selected as the grand prize and runner-up winners:

Kindergarten-1st Grade Category

Grand Prize Winner:

Phaedra Casto, Kindergarten, Freedom Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas


Olivia Huang, First Grade, Greenhill School in Addison, Texas

2nd – 3rd Grade Category

Grand Prize Winner:

Prateeti Saha, Third Grade, Carroll Elementary in Frisco, Texas


Brantley Youngborg, Third Grade, Rawson Saunders School in Austin, Texas

4th-5th Grade Category

Grand Prize Winner:

Thomas Larsson, Fifth Grade, West University Elementary in Houston, Texas


Joelle Chun, Fifth Grade, Elsa England Elementary School in Austin, Texas

Winning Teacher (Teacher who submitted the most entries)

Cecilia Chavez, IDEA Pharr in Pharr, Texas

Each of the grand prize winners will be invited to a banquet as part of the Environmental Trade Fair and Conference, in Austin, Texas, in May to be recognized. Each of the grand prize winners and runners-up will receive an iPad or laptop, while the winning teacher will have the option of an iPad or gift certificate of equal value for supplies toward their classroom. All of the prizes will be provided by the contest sponsor, Texas Chemical Council.

To view the winning artwork or learn more about the art contest, visit the Take Care of Texas Art Contest Winners page.

The contest is a fun way for students from kindergarten to 5th grade to learn about protecting the environment and find a creative way to share this with others. All entries had to include the slogan “Take Care of Texas. It’s the only one we’ve got” and portray positive ways Texans can help conserve water and keep it clean.

Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that provides helpful information on Texas’ successes in environmental protection and encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.