The Washington State Department of Transportation and the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition are hosting the second year of the Bridging Futures scholarship program, asking students: “How should our future highways protect animals?”
Washington high school juniors and seniors interested in engineering, the environment or art should bring their ideas forward and apply for this scholarship.
“WSDOT is making some very high-tech advances in environmental design,” said Charlie Raines, I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition director. “We hope this scholarship program will inspire future engineers or environmental advocates.”
The student that best illustrates and explains their idea will receive a $1,500 scholarship toward college from the Wildlife Bridges Coalition, and a free summer 2014 course at the Cascade Mountain School to experience and learn in the outdoors. The runner-up receives a $500 scholarship.
The scholarship application needs to include a model, blueprint or graphic of a wildlife crossing over a six-lane highway and an essay explaining how the model demonstrates the importance of wildlife crossings within the I-90 corridor. The essay must be no less than 500 words and may not exceed two pages. Judging criteria includes creativity of design, considerations of issues unique to this location including wildlife present and heavy snowloads, and features taking into account the experience of motorists passing under the overpass. Applications must be postmarked by May 2, 2014.
Students can download applications from Washboard.org and search for 2014 Bridging Futures, or on the 2014 Bridging Futures Scholarship contest webpage.
Winners will be announced in early June 2014.
WSDOT engineers are designing the first wildlife crossing in the state, which will be built in 2015. The structure will be located 10 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass as part of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project.
“Winners from our 2013 scholarship contest were from Spokane and Seattle, and brought innovative design ideas for the Price-Noble wildlife overpass to the table,” said Jen Watkins of the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition. “We are really looking forward to what new ideas emerge this year.”