The Federal Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic education program that teaches students about wetlands and waterfowl conservation. The program combines scientific principles with visual arts. In 2012 the program curriculum was redesigned and modernized to take a more contemporary approach to teaching in the age of technology. The new curriculum is designed to spark interest in youth in habitat conservation through science, art, and math. For more information and to access both JDS Educator and Youth Curriculum Guides, please visit The Junior Duck Stamp Educational Curriculum.
The JDS Program and participation in the art contest is a great way for young people to learn the wonders of wildlife and wild places. The contest is open to children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Teachers and parents can incorporate the program into various learning environments including public and private school classrooms, home schools, and non-formal education settings such as scout and 4-H groups. The program offers a unique opportunity to students through the creation of drawings and paintings of North American waterfowl species while learning about wetlands and waterfowl conservation.
In 2014 the West Virginia the program is coordinated by the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Entries must be received by March 15, 2014. Judging will be held March 26, 2014, at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Williamstown, WV. Please visit the following links for a complete list of rules and downloadable entry forms. The 2013 West Virginia JDS Art Contest Best of Show was "Mother Mallard" by Shelby Hammons of Huntington High School. For a complete list of West Virginia winners click on the following link: 2013 WV Junior Duck Stamp Winners.
For questions about the 2014 West Virginia JDS art contest contact Matthew Magruder, Visitor Services Manager, 304-375-2923 x 117, at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
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Forty species of native freshwater mussels live within the refuge waters on the Ohio River. This includes six federally endangered mussel species: fanshell, pink mucket, sheepnose, spectaclecase, snuffbox, and rayed bean. Mussels are important to the health of a river ecosystem. They are filter feeders, which helps reduce silt, sediment, and pollutants in the water.