Erica Szlosek, USFWS (916) 978-6159/ (916) 612-4664 cell,
Stephanie Weagley, USFWS (760) 431-9440 ext. 210/ (760)-805-5612 cell, day of the event
Sarah Swenty, CWA (916) 275-1018 cell
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest is coming to the San Diego Zoo Thursday, April 17, marking the first time judging for this national wildlife art competition will be held outside of the Washington, D.C. area since it began in 1991. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the San Diego Zoo Outdoor Arena and is free and open to the public. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program helps teachers use the arts to connect students with nature, especially wetland and waterfowl conservation.
In 2007, about 27,000 students, grades K-12, in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories participated in this supplementary arts education program. Students create drawings or paintings depicting North American waterfowl in their natural habitat and enter these designs into their State Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Each year, state ?Best of Show? designs are entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
Students with the top three art entries and the top three conservation messages will receive cash awards. The winning student receives a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond. In addition, the national, first-place art design will be made into the 2008-2009 Junior Duck Stamp and sell for $5. The stamps are collectible and available through the U.S. Postal Service?s Philatelic Sales and through the Amplex Corporation, the Service?s stamp fulfillment center. All proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are used solely to support the conservation education program.
A distinguished panel of five judges will select the winners. The judges are: Joseph Hautman, Chief Judge and 2008-2009 Federal Duck Stamp Artist; Mike Chrisman, Secretary, California Resources Agency; Berit Durler, President of the Zoological Society of San Diego; Gary Kramer, Former Refuge Manager, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Robert McLandress, Ph.D., President, California Waterfowl Association; Dave Rimlinger, alternate judge, Curator of Birds, San Diego Zoo.
This year?s national contest will also pay special tribute to noted California arts educator, Dr. Joan Allemand. In 1989, with a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Dr. Allemand developed the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program still used today. Under her direction, the dynamic arts curriculum debuted in 1990 as a pilot program in several California schools. During that first year, 3,000 students in public and private schools participated.
Artwork from this year?s national contest, as well as artwork from the traveling 2007 Junior Duck Stamp ?Best of Show,? will remain on display at the zoo for public viewing through April 20. After that, the exhibit goes on a nationwide tour, stopping at various national wildlife refuges, wildlife art museums, and waterfowl festivals.
The Service, California Waterfowl Association, and the San Diego Zoo are conservation partners working on this project as part of their ongoing efforts to bring people and wildlife closer together. Other partners in this event are: the California Rice Commission, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., California Departments of Fish and Game and Water Resources, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tulare Basin Wetlands Association, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Delta Waterfowl, Central Valley Joint Venture, River Partners, Grassland Water District and Pacific Flyway Decoy Association.