Young Missouri artists have a chance to reap cash and travel rewards by participating in a national art contest sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Artistic kids will be interested in the Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program. The competition begins with state contests. The agency awards ribbons for first, second and third places, and honorable mentions in each of four age groups -- K-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, and grades 10-12. Everyone who enters gets a certificate.
The entry selected as best of show in each state advances to the national competition. The national winner receives $4,000 and a free trip to Washington , D.C., with his or her art teacher and one parent to attend the adult Federal Duck Stamp Contest. The winning artwork is made into the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The money raised from sales of this stamp goes for conservation awards and for scholarships for kids who enter the contest.
The winner of the entry placing second receives $2,000, and $1,000 is awarded to the third-place winner.
Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge administers Missouri's Junior Duck Stamp Contest. For entry packets or for more information about the contest, contact Tim Haller, 4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, MO 65201, call 800/611-1826, or email. For more information about the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest go to http://duckstamps.fws.gov and select "2004 Junior Duck Stamp Program" and download the contest entry regulations. The application deadline for the contest is March 15, 2004.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic arts curriculum designed to teach wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. This program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum.
This non-traditional pairing of subjects brings new interest to both science and the arts. It crosses cultural, ethnic, social and geographic boundaries to teach greater awareness of the nation's natural resources. This benefits not only ducks, but all migratory birds, including neotropical migratory songbirds, and hundreds of other plants and animals that depend on wetlands habitat for their survival.
The art competition requires an understanding of anatomy and environmental science and can be a valid barometer of a student's grasp of these topics. It also offers a way to express that knowledge outside the traditional science classroom. And for all students, it offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of wildlife.
Proceeds from the sale of junior duck stamps (which cost $5) support conservation education by providing awards and scholarships for the students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.
State agencies that sell junior duck stamps may use their share of the proceeds for designated conservation purposes. For a free copy of the curriculum guide: email@example.com.