by Shaun McKeon, Education Coordinator
Even though waterfowl season has ended here in Michigan, There is still a great way to get kids involved and keep them interested this winter. The Michigan Junior Duck Stamp contest is currently taking place and entries can be submitted until March 15, 2015. The Junior Duck Stamp Program is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and it is hosted by the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your kids involved and have them show off their artistic talents. More information can be found in the press release below.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have held a Jr. Duck Stamp Contest in Michigan since 1995 (20 years). In 2014, Alexandra Greenfelder, age 19 of Chesaning won the Michigan contest with a watercolor painting of a Mallard Duck Pair. “Michigan’s youth does not lack talent. The Junior Duck Stamp Program is a unique venue for Michigan’s youth to present their version of North American Waterfowl” said Lionel D. Grant, Jr. Duck Stamp state coordinator.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service2014 Michigan JDS artwork was even featured at University of Michigan Health Center’s Gifts of Art Gallery in late December 2014 through February 2015.
This dynamic educational program uses principles in both conservation and design to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students in kindergarten through high school. The program provides an opportunity for students to artistically showcase their knowledge of the diversity, interrelationships 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 at Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw, at 1pm Tuesday, March 24th, 2015. 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 West Virginia. 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 online at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck. The following guides are available to download here:
Educator’s Guide: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/curriculum/educatorguidefulldocument.pdf
Youth Guide: http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/curriculum/youthguidecompletedocument.pdf
For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student’s or school’s participation in the Jr. Duck Stamp contest, please contact your Jr. Duck Stamp State Coordinator Lionel Grant, (989) 759-1669, Lionel_Grant@fws.gov. Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 15, 2015 and mailed to: c/o Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge 6975 Mower Road Saginaw, MI 48601
by Shaun McKeon, Education Coordinator