Updated with correct organizing group.

Throwaway items like empty plastic bottles, popsicle sticks, Styrofoam packaging and paper towel tubes blossomed into sculptures for a school fundraiser.

The Tennessee state flower, the iris, was the theme of this year’s Museum of Litter & Public Auction held last week at the county government’s Sycamore Square complex in Ashland City.

The iris-themed sculptures, 11 in all, were made in area schools. There were five categories of winners, and an auction for the works of art. The litter art project is open to all K-8 schools in the county.

Wooden iris structures were built by Jimmy Staggs of the Tech Ed Department at Sycamore High School. They were then delivered to each school to be decorated with only found litter.

The auction raised $2,450 for Cheatham County schools, said Debbie Keenan, the editor of Let's Talk Trash News, a litter education program funded by a Cheatham County Sheriff's Office TDOT grant.

This was the fourth Museum of Litter & Public Auction, with $10,250 raised for local schools altogether, she said.

In this year’s contest, the winning schools were Pegram Elementary (Most Beautiful and Best of Show), Sycamore High (Most Colorful), Kingston Springs Elementary (Best Use of Litter) and West Cheatham Elementary (Most Creative).