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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Montgomery County residents can be on the lookout this winter for tributes to the County’s public works employees. As part of “Public Works Week,” Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) middle school students participated in a “Paint the Plow” contest to celebrate the many contributions made by public works employees that keep the County running.

Redland Middle School in Derwood was selected as the first-place winner of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT's) "Paint the Plow" snowplow naming contest. The winning design emulated the popular Pokémon franchise with the theme “Snowkémon” and the slogan “Gotta Melt It All.”

“This contest is a great way to bring public attention to the enormous amount of work our public works employees do to keep the County’s infrastructure functional and safe,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I want to thank MCPS and the participating students and teachers for their efforts to help us celebrate Public Works Week and for bringing art to our streets. Our residents will greatly enjoy looking out for these plows during snowstorms.”

Students from 11 MCPS middle schools participated in the contest. Snowplows and paint supplies were delivered by MCDOT to each school and the student teams had four days to name and decorate their snowplows.

A team from Westland Middle School in Bethesda was the second-place winner with its decorated snowplow “Plowser,” a play off Mario Brothers. A team from John Poole Middle School in Poolesville was the third-place winner for its decorated plow “Winter Warrior,” which showcased a beautifully painted anime theme.

The decorated plows will be part of the MCDOT fleet that will be clearing snow from streets this winter.

The winners were named as MCDOT celebrated “Public Works Week” to honor essential workers. During the special week, MCDOT recognizes the employees of its Division of Highway Services with an employee-centered social media campaign and the Paint the Plow contest. Entries to the contest were showcased at MCDOT’s family-friendly ‘Truck Day’ event held on May 20. The free event had more than 1,000 attendees who were invited to vote for their favorite snowplow design.

The winners selected:

  • First place (awarded $500): Redland Middle School for its decorated snowplow named “Snowkémon.”
  • Second place (awarded $300): Westland Middle School for its decorated snowplow named “Plowser.”
  • Third place (awarded $200): John Poole Middle School for its decorated snowplow named “Winter Warrior.”

The decorated plows will be pushing snow off County streets this winter. The painted plows will serve as an interesting and valuable reminder of the MCDOT public workers who keep the County running.

“I am once again deeply impressed with the creativity and talent of our MCPS middle school students,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “These plows will serve as a reminder of the tremendous contributions our public works employees make to creating a safe community.”

“Public Works Week” is a nationally recognized week in May to honor essential workers. The American Public Works Association selected "Connecting the World" as the theme for the 2023 National Public Works Week. The theme emphasizes that public works employees are always ready to serve their communities and are resilient despite encountering challenges. “Public Works Week” runs May 21-27.

Pictures of the painted plows can be viewed on the MCDOT Paint the Plow website or on the social media platforms listed below.

For information on MCDOT programs and services visit, follow @MCDOTNow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and subscribe to MCDOT’s “Go Montgomery!” newsletter.

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Release ID: 23-223
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta 240-372-2284
Categories: Transportation