Missouri Jr. Duck Calling all Young Artists

 Missouri Jr. Duck Calling all Young Artists

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2009 Missouri Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which will be held at USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center on April 2nd, 2009. Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2009.

“An increasing body of evidence shows, that a relationship with the natural world helps children become healthier in body and mind – the Junior Duck Stamp program is wonderful gateway to that relationship,” said H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has held a Jr. Duck Stamp Contest in Missouri since 1992. Last year, Rebeckah Nastav from Amoret won the Missouri contest with a drawing of a Hooded Merganzer. “We hope to have an even broader level of participation this year from schools and students across the state,” said Tim Haller, Jr. Duck Stamp state coordinator.

This dynamic educational program uses both conservation and design principles to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students in kindergarten through high school. The program provides an opportunity for students to artistically express their knowledge of the diversity, interdependence and beauty of wildlife.

“The Jr. Duck Stamp Contest celebrates children’s curiosity to learn about nature,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “By using their artistic talents, younger generations can develop an appreciation for migratory birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wildlife they may otherwise not be exposed to.”

Students may submit artwork featuring one of the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, brant, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails, or Hawaiian ducks. A full list of permitted species is available online at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck. Judging will be open to the general public, and will be begin at 10:00 am on April 4th 2009 at the Richard Schoettger Conference Building USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center. The center is located at 4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, Missouri. Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1” by 1.5” stamp. Judging ends around 2:00 pm.

During the contest, students will be judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.Three first, three second and three third place entries, along with 16 honorable mentions will be selected from each group. Contest judges select a “Best of Show” from the twelve first place winners, which will be submitted to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held in April in Washington D.C. The winner of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, along with his/her parent or guardian and teacher will receive a free trip to a First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July.

The first place art from the national, contest is used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp each year. The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many National Wildlife Refuges. Proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.

A downloadable entry form and information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults can be found online at http://www.fws.gov/jrduck. For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student’s or school’s participation in the Jr. Duck Stamp contest, please contact your Jr. Duck Stamp State Coordinator, Tim Haller (573) 441-2799 [email protected] Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 15, 2009 and mailed to:

c/o Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator

Tim Haller

Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

4200 New Haven Rd.

Columbia, MO 65201

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 http://www.fws/gov.