A talented young artist from South Dakota has taken top honors at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. A wood duck by 13-year old Madison Grimm, will grace the 2020-2021 Junior Duck Stamp, which raises funds to educate and engage our nation’s youth in wildlife and wetlands conservation and outdoor recreation.
A panel of five judges chose the entry, painted in acrylic, from among best-of-show entries from 49 states and Washington, D.C.
“I am thrilled for the winner, and am so proud of the thousands of students who participated in this program throughout the country,” said Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “The Junior Duck Stamp Program encourages students to explore their natural world through science, art and language, creating a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors.”
Students in kindergarten through grade twelve participate in their annual state Junior Duck Stamp Program through their school, home, art studio or after-school group, or from a refuge, park or nature center. After learning about wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife conservation, they express their learning through a drawing or painting of a duck, goose or swan.
The top piece of art in the nation – chosen at this annual competition – is featured on the Junior Duck Stamp, sales of which support educational programs and activities that nurture our next generation of conservationists.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program began in 1989 as an extension of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Duck Stamp. The first national Junior Duck Stamp art contest was held in 1993. The stamp encourages students to explore their natural world, participate in outdoor recreation activities, and learn wildlife management principles. Approximately 2,000 Junior Duck Stamps are sold annually for $5 each.
Chowon Kim, 17, of New York, took second place with an acrylic depicting a hooded merganser.
Third place went to Meijia Tang, 16, of Maryland for an acrylic and oil rendition of northern pintails.
In addition to the art contest, a Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest encourages students to express in words the spirit of what they have learned through classroom discussions, research and planning for their Junior Duck Stamp Contest entries. This year’s winner is Abby Gilreath, 16, of Nebraska with her message: “When we practice conservation, we protect not only our wildlife but our health and environment for future generations.”
“We are so honored to help run a program where young people of all different backgrounds and interests all showcase their talents,” said Assistant Director for Migratory Birds Jerome Ford. “To take what they learn about wildlife, waterfowl and habitat conservation, and then turn that into a piece of personal art they share around the country, is just an absolute treasure.”
This year, over 14,000 young artists submitted entries to the Junior Duck Stamp contests around the nation. For complete contest results, visit http://www.fws.gov/birds/education/junior-duck-stamp-conservation-program.php.
The Junior Duck Stamp Contest winner receives $1,000. The second place winner receives $500; the third-place winner receives $200; the Conservation Message winner receives $200.
You can buy Junior Duck Stamps online through the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex and at some national wildlife refuges. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are used for recognition of individuals who submit winning designs in state or national competitions and to further activities related to the conservation education goals of the program.
The First Day of Sale ceremony for the 2020-2021 Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp is planned for June 26, 2020, at Bass Pro Shops in Spanish Fort, Alabama. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. CDT and is free and open to the public. The U.S. Postal Service will have a special cancellation and both stamp artists are expected to be at the event.