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In 1989, with a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Dr. Joan Allemand developed the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program, a dynamic arts curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students from kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum. Participants complete a JDS design as their visual "term papers," thus using visual arts, rather than verbal communication, to articulate what they have learned. Through this program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduces the Federal Duck Stamp program and the National Wildlife Refuge System to participants and educates new generations of citizens about the importance of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

The JDS curriculum made its debut as part of a pilot program in California. In 1990, three thousandstudents in public and private schools were the first to participate in the JDS Program curriculum and art contest. Florida and Illinois were added in 1991 with Arkansas, Kansas and Vermont entering the program in 1992. At that time, a state stamp sheet was developed using the Best of Show winners from each participating state from 1991 and 1992. This $10 stamp sheet included nine state JDS designs. Due to printing costs for the Best of Show stamp sheet it was determined that a national competition, using the Best of Show winning designs from each state, would be held to select a design for a Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

Maryland and South Dakota entered the program in 1993. With eight states competing, the first National competition was held to select one stamp to become the first Federal Junior Duck Stamp. That year, during the First Day of Sale Ceremony for the Federal Duck Stamp, judges selected the first, second, and third place national winning designs. The first Federal Junior Duck Stamp design winner was Jason Parsons from Canton, Illinois. His design, titled ‘Ruffling Redhead’, was used to create the junior stamps which sold for $5.00 each.

Seventeen new states joined the program in 1994. At that time, stamps were purchased by an individual as a contribution to the NFWF’s Junior Duck Stamp Challenge Grant. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps were used as matching funds to support the program. With the grant term expiring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored legislation to gain Congressional authorization for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp and to direct the proceeds from sales to support conservation education in the form of awards and scholarships for the participants.

The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Act of 1994 was enacted on October 6, 1994. The Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to create a JDS and to license and market the JDS and the stamp design. The proceeds from these efforts are used to support conservation education awards and scholarships. In 2000, Congress reauthorized the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act for another five years, and expanded the conservation education program throughout the U.S. and its territories. Since that time, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined the program.

Today more than 27,000 students throughout the United States, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands submit entries to a state or territory JDS Contest. The program’s success is due to partnerships with Federal and State government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private businesses, and volunteers who have helped to recognize and honor thousands of teachers and students throughout the United States for their participation in conservation related activities.

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Authorizing Legislation

Information regarding the Junior Duck Stamp Program's Authorizing Legislation coming soon!

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Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator
The national Junior Duck Stamp Program Coordinator oversees the annual national JDS Contest. The Coordinator assists Regional and State Coordinators in promoting the use of the JDS curriculum in schools across the nation, develops and implements corporate, public and media marketing and outreach activities, and facilitates special projects like the curriculum revision. The Coordinator also responds to inquiries from members of Congress, the public and the media.

Regional Coordinators
Regional coordinators serve as the first line of communication to State Coordinators. As a resource to the State Coordinators, Regional Coordinators are able to respond to inquiries and assist the National Coordinator with data collection. More specifically, Regional Coordinators are responsible for gathering annual financial reports in addition to participation and state activities reports. Regional Coordinators facilitate the transition of state programs from one coordinator to another and assist State Coordinators in general duties when necessary.

State Coordinators
Every state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands has a JDS Coordinator. The Coordinators are employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, or conservation-oriented nongovernmental organizations who work on JDS issues in addition to their anchor position, in most cases without additional compensation. Each State Coordinator is responsible for administering the JDS Program in their state. This includes managing the state art contest, outreach, and, in many cases, the states own art tour of winning youth art entries. The ability of the State Coordinators to manage these program responsibilities is strongly tied to the hosting office’s support staff, the money available to administer the program, the geographical location of the coordinators office in the state, and the time a coordinator has to complete program related responsibilities, in addition to other unrelated work responsibilities. Coordinators are able to network and improve their skills during the JDS Coordinators’ Conference held every other year. Coordinators communicate with one another throughout the year through the Junior Duck Stamp ListServe, email, and phone.

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