Student artists share ideas for creating clean, litter-free habitats for Oklahoma’s wildlife.


Following another successful contest year, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Pepsi are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Pepsi Vending Machine Art Contest. This past spring, Oklahoma students in kindergarten through grade 12 were invited to enter the annual art contest drawing on their creative talents to illustrate the importance of providing litter-free habitat for Oklahoma’s native wildlife. Since its inception in 2004, this contest continues to provide Oklahoma students a unique outlet for embracing their passion for art, wildlife and wild places while raising awareness for environmental concerns and conservation action.

Inspired by this year’s contest theme, Make Oklahoma Litter Free for Wildlife, students shared designs highlighting the importance of eliminating litter and recycling to promote healthy habitats for wildlife and for the chance to have their designs featured on a Pepsi vending machine for an entire year at the OKC Zoo, and win additional prizes from OKC Outlet and the Zoo. Contest designs were judged on creativity, originality, meeting art specifications and relevance to the theme. A total of 1,302 entries were submitted from students representing 58 Oklahoma cities/towns.

The OKC Zoo is dedicated to the preservation of wildlife through conservation education and raising awareness about litter prevention and recycling. Litter has a direct impact on all living things and waterways, and by disposing of trash and recycling properly you are contributing to the conservation of Oklahoma’s wildlife and wild places. Recycling litter when possible also helps divert recyclable trash away from landfills and conserves resources plus, it can be done at home, school, work or in your community. The OKC Zoo and Pepsi are wild about recycling and, together, to ensure in-park recycling is accessible for Zoo guests. Look for recycling bins throughout the park to easily dispose of your plastic and aluminum containers.



Both Grand Prize recipients will receive a $300 gift card from an OKC Outlet store and a certificate. Their winning artwork will be the cover design on a Pepsi vending machine located in the Zoo’s entry plaza for a year.

  • Grand Prize (K-5): Ava Loyd, 5th grade, Moore, Oakridge Elementary, Mrs. Buchheit’s class.
  • Grand Prize (6-12): Caleb Brunet, 11th grade, Shawnee, homeschool.

Both Second Prize recipients will receive a ZOOfriends membership and a certificate. Their designs will be on display at the OKC Zoo.

  • Second Prize (K-5): Samuel Lunow, 2nd grade, Moore, homeschool.
  • Second Prize (6-12):  Krisztiána Zeese, 8th grade, Oklahoma City, homeschool.

Zoo Director’s Top Honor Roll Awards

Honor Roll recipients will receive a certificate and their designs will be on display at the OKC Zoo.

  • AZA Choice: Thomas Buchanan, 12th grade, Newalla, Harrah High School, Justin Harkey’s class.
  • Can Do Attitude: Taylor Davis, 5th grade, Norman, Terra Verde Discovery School, Julie Eberle’s class.
  • Conservation Champion: Kenneth Carpenter, 11th grade, Guthrie, Lindsey Baker’s class.
  • Habitat Hero: Lydia Wiley, 6th grade, Shawnee, Grove Upper Elementary, Summer Proffer’s class.
  • H2O Honor: Kaylee Zenone, 3rd grade, Luther, homeschool.
  • Nature Navigator: Macey Anderson, 6th grade, Ada, Willard Grade Center, Mrs. Jones’s class.
  • Green Dream: Lena Hasan, 8th grade, Norman, Whittier Middle School, Mrs. Charboneau’s class. 
  • Rally for Recycling:  Bradley Shell, 4th grade, Stilwell, Maryetta Public School, Sally Terrapin’s class.
  • Sustainability Superstar: Trevor Malley, 4th grade, Adair, Bernita Hughes Elementary, Mrs. Hylton’s class.
  • Wildlife Protector: Tritan Loyd, 10th grade, Bunch, Sequoyah High School, Amanda Harrington’s class.

Contest winners were recognized at an award presentation, hosted by the OKC Zoo and Pepsi, on July 17, at which time their art designs were debuted. 

Now through August 31, the Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 2 p.m. Connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features 45+ life-sized animal statues made with almost two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily during regular Zoo hours. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.

Stay connected with the Zoo on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit