Midwest Region


Mara Koenig with Junior Duck Stamp winner
Mara Koenig with Junior Duck Stamp winner

Mara Koenig with Junior Duck Stamp entriesMara Koenig with Junior Duck Stamp entries

Congratulations to State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator of the Year Mara Koenig!

Last year, 1105 students participated in the Junior Duck Stamp program in Minnesota, more than any other state in our Region, and Minnesota’s participation was third highest in the nation!

Mara Koenig, visitor services staff member from Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, has been the driving force behind the success of this program here in Minnesota since 2003.

She has worked with teachers and students from across the state – from Pine Island to Fergus Falls, Albany, Cambridge, Bemidji, Minneapolis, Mankato, Duluth, Chanhassen, St. Cloud, Mahtomedi, Stillwater, and many others.

Not only has Mara successfully coordinated the Minnesota State Contest for seven years, but this past year, she also played a critical role in the planning, implementation and overall success of the 2010 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, held at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

She worked in coordination with the Science Museum’s education staff to secure school groups from Garlough Environmental Magnet School and Pine Island Public Schools.

She interviewed teachers, shot footage, and coordinated the production of the Midwest Regional Teacher Recognition Video shown during the opening ceremony of the event. She developed the schedule for children’s education activities, and remained in continuous contact with teachers and Science Museum staff to ensure the children’s activities went smoothly.

Mara also led a team of volunteers during contest day to handle the artwork during the judging process, and assisted in overseeing the educational activities for students in the Science Museum’s education center.

From the first day of contest planning to the final event day, Mara contributed her experience, resources, and vibrant personality to ensure the success of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, meanwhile balancing her own responsibilities in visitor services at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Minnesota State Junior Duck Stamp Contest during the very same month.

“Mara is not only an incredible multi-tasker, but is also a proven leader in her ability to work with individuals from multiple agencies, and her ability to coordinate meaningful educational opportunities for kids,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director.

Please join the Midwest Region in congratulating Mara Koenig on receiving the State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator of the Year Award!

Mara will be an honored guest at the next National Junior Duck Stamp Contest in 2011, which will be held at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia.

Mara, Thank-you for your contribution and dedication to connecting children with nature through the Junior Duck Stamp Program!

Charlie Wooley and Tom Melius present Mara Koenig with the State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator of the year award
Charlie Wooley and Tom Melius present Mara Koenig with the State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator of the year award


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

Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

Last updated: June 15, 2016