Young Waterfowlers Wanted!

Are you a young artist or know of one who is one of the many waterfowlers in Michigan. If so, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is accepting entries for the 2014 Michigan Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Being a great artist or a great shot in the woods is not as important as having a love for waterfowl and the outdoors. The contest is separated by age into divisions, so contestants all have a great chance of winning. Whether you win or lose the art is immaterial. The time spent researching waterfowl and putting together a submission will be invaluable and an experience you will carry for a lifetime.

The contest is held to raise education and awareness of North America’s waterfowl and wetland resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has hosted a Junior Duck Stamp contest in Michigan for young waterfowlers since 1995. Hannah Hu from Ann Arbor won the Michigan contest in 2013 with a drawing of an American wigeon.

The winning submission of 2013's duck stamp contest.

A winning submission from 2013.

Species

Student waterfowlers may submit artwork featuring one of the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails or Hawaiian ducks. A full list of permitted species is available online.

Judging

Judging will be open to the general public at Green Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw in the spring. Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1-inch by 1.5-inch stamp.

Students will be judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Three first-place, three second-place 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 12 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 West Virginia.

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.

Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2014.

For additional information or questions regarding participation in the contest, please contact Junior Duck Stamp state coordinator Lionel Grant at 989-759-1669 or Lionel_Grant@fws.gov.

Do you know of a great event to encourage aspiring outdoor enthusiasts to engage with the outdoors? Share it with us in the comment section.

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