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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
REGION 8: Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Brings Children and Nature Together Through the Arts
Region 8, April 2, 2008
Best of Show: Pair of Ruddy Ducks by 15 year-old Lydia Han, San Jose, Calif. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association)
Best of Show: Pair of Ruddy Ducks by 15 year-old Lydia Han, San Jose, Calif. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association) - Photo Credit: n/a
Judges evaluate entries during the state contest, March 26 in Willows, Calif. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association)
Judges evaluate entries during the state contest, March 26 in Willows, Calif. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association) - Photo Credit: n/a
Judges (from left) Greg Mensik, Paul Buttner, Andy Atkinson, Ruth Ostroff, Jake Messerli and Virginia Getz. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association) 
Judges (from left) Greg Mensik, Paul Buttner, Andy Atkinson, Ruth Ostroff, Jake Messerli and Virginia Getz. (Photo by Erik Bergren, California Waterfowl Association)  - Photo Credit: n/a

Ruth Ostroff, Central Valley Joint Venture

The California Federal Junior Duck Stamp artwork competition was held on March 26, 2008 in Willows, Calif.  With almost 2,000 art entries from school-aged children all over the state, it was hard for the judges to select only 100 winners and one Best of Show.  After much debate,  Lydia Han, 15, from San Jose was awarded the Best of Show title for her gouache water color painting of a pair of ruddy ducks. The California Best of Show has been submitted, along with Best of Shows from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and will compete in the 15th annual national judging on April 17, 2008, at the San Diego Zoo.

 

The Junior Duck Stamp program, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a nationwide program that uses science, the arts, and other core subjects to creatively teach greater awareness of our natural resources.  It especially enables inner city and cross-cultural students to experience hands-on, creative conservation activities.  Creating an entry is a valuable experience that helps students tie together lessons on animal form and function, plant science, observation, wetland habitats, and more. In the visual arts, students practice sketching, drawing, painting, and composition. By teaching conservation through the arts, a whole new generation is learning about the importance of waterfowl and wetland conservation.

 

In California, the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex staff coordinates the program in partnership with the California Waterfowl Association (CWA), with support from 14 sponsors including the Central Valley Joint Venture, to teach the importance of conserving our wetlands and migratory birds.

When the Junior Duck Stamp Program first began in 1989, Florida was the pilot state with California following close behind as the second state in 1990. California has since maintained one of the largest contests in the nation. Thanks to the ongoing participation of very generous and supportive partners, as well as numerous donors, California also leads the nation in producing a range of educational materials, including activity posters, teacher newsletters, student art calendars, and much more. Nearly 200 classroom presentations, a three-day Wildlife Art Camp centered at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, and a week-long Wildlife Art Fellowship to Canada -- all free of charge to students – ensure that youngsters from kindergarten through high school discover wetlands, waterfowl, and ways to get involved in conservation.

The artwork judges change each year, but the panel typically includes a combination of waterfowl biologists, artists, and educators. Judges this year included:

  • Paul Buttner - Manager of Environmental Affairs, CA Rice Commission
  • Andy Atkinson - Gray Lodge Senior Biologist, CA DFG
  • Jake Messerli - Director of Waterfowl and Wetlands, CWA
  • Virginia Getz - Manager of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
  • Kevin Foerster - Refuge Manager, Sacramento NWR Complex, USFWS
  • Greg Mensik - Deputy Refuge Manager, Sacramento NWR Complex, USFWS
  • Ruth Ostroff – Assistant Coordinator, Central Valley Joint Venture, USFWS

 

The art is separated into four grade groups (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12), and each group is judged independently. Once the first place winners for each group have been selected, they are viewed again to select a single Best of Show for the state.

Please join us in celebrating the successes of our California program. On April 17, 2008, admission to the San Diego Zoo is free upon mentioning the Federal Junior Duck Stamp judging. We hope to see you there

For more information about this program, contact Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (530-934-2801) or the California Waterfowl Association (916-648-1406).

 

 

Contact Info: Ruth Ostroff, 916-414-6460, ruth_ostroff@fws.gov