Erica Szlosek 916/978-6159
During yesterday's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2008-2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest, Lydia Han, age 15, from San Jose, Calif., placed second. The contest was held at the San Diego Zoo and the first, second and third place winners were chosen by a panel of judges. The first place winner's art will become next year's Junior Duck Stamp.
Han's gouache water color, called "Contented Pair," depicted a pair of ruddy ducks. Han's artwork came to the federal contest because she had won the top spot in California from nearly 2,000 entries on March 26. For winning second place, Han will receive $3,000.
The Junior Duck Stamp program is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and is a nationwide program that uses science, the arts, and other core subjects to creatively teach greater awareness of 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.
California joined as the second Junior Duck Stamp Contest participant in 1990 and has maintained one of the largest contests in the nation. Thanks to the ongoing participation of very supportive partners and 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, ensures that youngsters from kindergarten through high school discover wetlands, waterfowl, and ways to get involved in conservation.
The top spot in yesterday's national contest went to a pair of Nene (Hawaiian goose), painted by 18 year-old Seokkyun Hong of Dallas, Texas. Third place went to Rebekah Nastav, age 17, of Amoret, Missouri for her rendition of a single hooded merganser called "Evening Swim"; done in acrylic. Rebekah was also the winner of the 2006 Federal Junior Duck Stamp competition.
More information about the federal Junior Duck Stamp program is available online at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck. Information about the California Junior Duck Stamp program is at http://www.caljrduckstamp.org/.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.