The city of Hesperia is trying to get its youngest residents on board with conserving water and recycling by asking them to break out their crayons.


"The annual coloring contest is kicking off right now," city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy said on Thursday. "It's a really fun way to get the children of Hesperia involved in environmental programs."


The drawing, done by a city employee for the city's 13th annual contest, features a message about conservation and recycling.


"By having a coloring contest, we can get them excited about it."


The contest entries are broken down into three age ranges: kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade and fourth through sixth grade students.


"The submissions are graded on neatness and creativity."


Winners will be personally congratulated by the city council at a meeting in May and receive cash prizes, although the exact amounts have not yet been decided.


The coloring pages are available at Hesperia City Hall or from the city's website at http://cityofhesperia.us/index.aspx?NID=495


Entries are due at city hall by the end of business on Friday, April 22. For more information, call Julie Ryan at 760-947-1589.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.