Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Calling all Young Artists for Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest

2008 Junior Duck Stamp
2008 Junior Duck Stamp winner
from USFWS
a news release of US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2009 Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which will be held at Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw, Mich., on March 25, 2009. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2009.

"An increasing body of evidence shows, that a relationship with the natural world helps children become healthier in body and mind -- the Junior Duck Stamp program is wonderful gateway to that relationship," said H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has held a Junior Duck Stamp Contest in Michigan for several years. Last year, Yi Li from Ann Arbor won the Michigan contest with a drawing of a pair of Red-breasted mergansers. "We hope to have an even broader level of participation this year from schools and students across the state," said Becky Goche, Junior Duck Stamp state coordinator.

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 Judging will be open to the public, and will be begin at 9:00 a.m. on March 25, 2009 at the Green Point Environmental Learning Center, 3010 Maple Street in Saginaw. Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1" by 1.5" 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 twelve 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 in Washington D.C. The winner of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, along with his/her parent or guardian and teacher will receive a free trip to a First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July.

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 at the link below. For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student's or school's participation in the Junior Duck Stamp contest, please contact your Junior Duck Stamp State Coordinator, Becky Goche at (989) 759-1669 or Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 15, 2009 and mailed to:

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Attn: Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator
6975 Mower Road
Saginaw, MI 48601

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.

See US FWS Junior Duck Stamp Program
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