Junior Duck Stamp contest showcases talent and gives a shot at scholarship

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This one is for serious kids who have artistic talent, an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors and are looking for a way to show those talents off.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2011 Ohio Junior Duck Stamp contest, which is administered by Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Entries must be postmarked by March 1.

“The Junior Duck Stamp program is a unique opportunity to connect children to our natural world, and the need for wildlife and habitat conservation,” said Rebecca Hinkle, Ohio coordinator of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has held a Junior Duck Stamp Contest in Ohio since 1995. Last year, Rui Huang from Columbus won the Ohio contest and won the national contest with a painting of a Hooded Merganser.

Informative

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.

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.

Judging is open to the general public, and will be March 18 at 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Westlake. Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a one inch by one and a half inch stamp.

Categories

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.

Prize

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 A downloadable entry form and information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults can be found at www.fws.gov/jrduck.

Information

For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student’s or school’s participation in the contest, contact Rebecca Hinkle at 419-898-0014 or rebecca_hinkle@fws.gov. Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 1 and mailed to: c/o Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 W. state Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449.

(Readers may contact this writer at mtontimonia@att.net.)

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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