Three high school students who captured the spirit of Warwick’s Rocky Point Park in graphic designs are competing to see which of those designs will become a commemorative license plate honoring the historic recreation area.

Toll Gate junior Meaghan Marcus, West Warwick junior Anthony Lescarbeau and West Warwick senior Skye Whelpley are the finalists in a license plate design competition sponsored by the Rocky Point Foundation. The foundation awarded each of them a $300 prize for their work.

Teacher Jann Rogers-Garner of the Warwick Career and Technical Center worked with the students to design license plates that combined visual bang with adherence to Rhode Island Department of Transportation standards. All three of the designs feature the 60-foot Rocky Point arch, a symbol of the area that originally stood at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing, New York.

Other than that, however, each of the students applied their unique artistic eye to the job.

Skye Whelpley’s design looks past the arch, park benches and the beach out to a stylized depiction of Narragansett Bay, rendered in the soothing colors of a lazy late afternoon.  Anthony Lescarbeau also opted for a panoramic view, but in the vibrant purples and oranges of sunset with the arch as a dark outline in almost photographic realism. Meaghan Marcus’s design emphasizes the arch most prominently against a background of gentle blue and pink light.

The students’ designs were based on their personal impressions and childhood memories of Rocky Points 120 acres of beach, meadows, wetlands, woods, and rock outcroppings. A public recreation area since the late 19th century, Rocky Point has been the site of many different attractions over the years. The most famous was a popular amusement park, but the park has also seen a ferry pier, an observation tower, hotels and restaurants.

Today, Rocky Point is publicly owned and offers visitors a rich variety of natural beauty just 10 miles from downtown Providence. The license plate competition is the culmination of years of efforts to secure the land for public use.

“Now that the park has been preserved for the public, a Rocky Point plate not only serves to recall the park’s rich history, but also celebrates it as a place for wonderful new memories,” said Rocky Point Foundation President John Howell during an award ceremony at the Warwick Career and Technical Center.

The plates were unveiled on April 25, and voting kicked off at The first design to notch 900 votes will win.