The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program is a dynamic educational program designed to spark youth interest in habitat conservation through science, art, math and technology. Students in kindergarten through high school are encouraged to interpret the natural world through artistic expression. By providing a basis for participation in the Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, the activities encourage students to move beyond simply "learning about" wildlife and wildlife art to testing their abilities as wildlife artists. Students from around the United States submit their artwork to their state, territory or district competition. Winners from these competitions, called the "Best of Show," are then submitted to the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. One image from the Best of Show entries will become the next Junior Duck Stamp.Junior Duck Stamps are sold for $5 each by the U.S. Postal Service, Amplex Corporation, and various National Wildlife Refuges. All proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are returned to the program.
2013 Best of Show
Common Goldeneye by Cassidy Haggard, age 18, of Park Rapids, Minnesota.
The curriculum is designed to spark youth interest in habitat conservation through science, art, math and technology. It includes such elements as using the Internet as a conservation tool and new scientific information about today's conservation challenges (e.g., climate change and its impact on wetland habitat). It is multi-culturally relevant and incorporates information to stimulate students' interest in careers in nature. An emphasis on "nature journals" provides students with opportunities to sharpen observation skills and to record these observations on a continual basis.
Many other activities contained in the Junior Duck educational program provide students with opportunities to learn about migratory birds; the mysteries of migration; requirements for adequate habitat; and the ways they can help conserve these species in their own back yards, school yards, and neighborhoods. It stresses wildlife observation, nature journaling, photography, enjoying and exploring the outside world, and investigating the treasures of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
To help bring the Junior Duck Stamp program into your teaching, the Minnesota program has several education resources available for loan. Items include:
• Education Trunk: Designed to assist educators in preparing activities for exploring and learning about waterfowl and wetland habitats. • Literature Connections: Children’s literature that relates to waterfowl, wetlands, and habitat conservation.• Waterfowl Guides
To reserve any of these items, please contact the Minnesota Jr. Duck Stamp Coordinator.
2013 Contest Information
The 2013 Minnesota Best of Show artwork is a Common Goldeneye oil painting by Cassidy Haggard, age 18, of Park Rapids, Minnesota. The Minnesota Conservation Message Winner is Sophie Olund, age 15, of St. Paul, Minnesota, with her statement, "Quack, quack! Pond Back!" Cassidy’s artwork and Sophie’s message will advance to the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest,held in April at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.Special Student honors go to Taylor Sue Rabehl, age 12, of Wabasha, Minn. Her artwork will be the visual image used in promoting the program for 2014. This year's recipient of the Minnesota Teacher Recognition is Kari Halker-Saathoff from St. Michael-Albertville Senior High School, St. Michael, Minnesota.The Minnesota Contest was held on March 19, 2013, and 100 winners were selected. Contest judges included Tom Cooper, Migratory Bird Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region; Jeff Lederman, Environmental and Outdoor Education Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Education; David Scott, Assistant Regional Director, Migratory Birds & State Programs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Midwest Region; Mary Pat Simons, Art Teacher; and Nick Rowse, Fish and Wildlife Biologist.
How to Enter the Contest
1.Review and print contest rules and forms.
2. Read the contest rules carefully and make sure you meet the requirements. 3. Begin researching and preparing your entry.4. Fill in the entry form completely and affix it to the back of your entry.5. Mail your entry by March 15th annually to:
Minnesota Coordinator Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge 3815 American Blvd East Bloomington, MN 55425
All phases of the judging procedure are open to the general public. Entries will be judged on the basis of design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition, and suitability for reproduction on a 1” by 1 ½” stamp. Both realistic and imaginative interpretations are acceptable. Judging will continue until awards have been allocated for first, second and third place, plus honorable mentions. There will be 102 awards: 12 First Place, 12 Second Place, 12 Third Place, 64 honorable mentions, 1 Conservation Message, and 1 special student honor. One student’s design will be selected from the 12 First Place winners as “Best of Show.” This art will advance to the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The winning design from the national contest is used to create the Junior Duck Stamp for the following year. Notification of winners will be made as soon as possible. The state coordinator will officially oversee all judging.
Each student is encouraged, but not required, to write a short conservation message that expresses the spirit of what they have learned through classroom discussions, research, and planning for their Junior Duck Stamp Contest entries. Conservation messages should be limited to the space provided on the entry form. The winning message from Minnesota will advance to the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
The Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp top 36 entries are displayed throughout the state from April until March the following year. The tour includes an 8' x 10' exhibit frame displaying the matted pieces of waterfowl artwork created by young people throughout the state of Minnesota. Each piece is fitted with velcro for display. The artwork is exhibited at wildlife and outdoor festivals and expositions, county and state fairs, national wildlife refuges, art galleries, museums, government buildings, and educational conferences. For a schedule of the art tour, click here.
Are you an exhibitor? Hosting an event and would like to feature the Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp art tour? If so, please contact the Minnesota Jr. Duck Stamp Coordinator.
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Prescribed fires will be conducted on the Refuge and Wetland Management District this spring to improve habitat for wildlife.