By Shawn Chitnis

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Traffic signal boxes located along busy streets stick out and can be an eyesore to residents so Adams County staff created a contest asking the public to submit local photos to wrap around each box and beautify their neighborhoods.

“We were blown away by the response, hundreds of photos poured in, and high quality photos, blown away by the talent of some of our residents,” said Jim Siedlecki, communications director for Adams County.

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(credit: CBS)

The photos had to be from Adams County and taken by local residents using a professional camera that was high quality, an image that could be blown up and placed as a wrap around these boxes. Dozens of amateur photographers submitted around 200 photos by the deadline.

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Jim Siedlecki (credit: CBS)

The county plans to select 20 for various boxes at major intersections.

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Christen More (credit: CBS)

“I think it’s a really good idea,” said Christen More, 16, a high school student who submitted photos for the contest. “I think it’s cool to be able to go out and spend a period of time by myself and just seeing the landscape and the area and just trying to capture it.”

electric boxes painted 6pkg frame 2011 Art Pops Up Near Traffic Signals In Adams County

(credit: CBS)

The county will have its cultural affairs and arts commission narrow down which photos should be placed on the utility boxes. The first one will have a photo added this the fall. The project will be completed on all boxes by next summer. A few boxes already have photos covering boxes but they were selected outside of this contest.

“A lot of residents take pride in their community and they’re incredibly talented,” Siedlecki said. “It’s amazing to see how good these photos are, so many of them blew us away.”

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(credit: CBS)

More saw the contest on Facebook and her mom sent her the link to submit her own photos. She is new to photography, shadowing a local photographer in her free time and using her own camera. The contest was an opportunity to get her name out there as someone interested in pursuing the craft as a career.

“I think it’s really cool if you can capture it in a way that makes people think something,” she said. “I think it is very much so an important art form.”

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(credit: CBS)

Not only is it is a passion for the junior at Eagle Ridge Academy but an essential part of building a community. Her photos of landscapes may be a way to connect the two, as she waits to find out if her work is selected for one of the county boxes.

“It’s just sharing a piece of you and I think that’s really important,” said More. “It’s something that a community needs, a community cannot strive without art.”

Shawn Chitnis reports weeknights for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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