Young artists sought for duck stamp contestThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2011 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which is administered by Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2011.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2011 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which is administered by Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2011.
“It’s important for children to engage in the outdoors, both physically and mentally – the Junior Duck Stamp program is an unique opportunity for exploring our natural world,” said Mara Koenig, Minnesota coordinator of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has held a Junior Duck Stamp Contest in Minnesota since 1993. Last year, Nick Buchal from Mahtomedi won the Minnesota contest and placed in the top 10 nationally with an oil painting of Green-winged Teals. The conservation message winner, Christopher Wreede from Litchfield, is helping to promote awareness of the program through his statement, “A balance between innovation and conservation is the key to a balanced future.”
This dynamic educational program uses both conservation and design principles to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students in kindergarten through high school. The program provides an opportunity for students to artistically express their knowledge of the diversity, interdependence and beauty of wildlife.
“The Junior Duck Stamp Contest celebrates children’s curiosity to learn about nature,” said Tom Melius, Midwest regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “By using their artistic talents, younger generations can develop an appreciation for migratory birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife they may otherwise not be exposed to.”
Students may submit artwork featuring one of the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, brant, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails, or Hawaiian ducks. A full list of permitted species is available online at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck. Judging will be open to the general public, and will be begin at 9 a.m. Monday, March 21, at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s Bloomington Visitor Center. Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-inch by 1.5-inch stamp.
During the contest, students will be judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Three first-, three second- and three third-place entries, along with 16 honorable mentions will be selected from each group. Contest judges select a “Best of Show” from the 12 first-place winners, which will be submitted to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held in April at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Along with the art, a conservation message will be selected from each state’s submission. The top three winners in art and conservation message of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest receive scholarships.
The first place art from the national contest is used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp each year. The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many National Wildlife Refuges. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.
A downloadable entry form and information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults can be found online at http://www.fws.gov/jrduck. For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student’s or school’s participation in the Junior Duck Stamp contest, contact Junior Duck Stamp State Coordinator Mara Koenig at 952-858-0710 or email@example.com. Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 15, 2011, and mailed to: c/o Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator; Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge; 3815 American Blvd E., Bloomington, MN 55425.