"The competition is an art-based educational program that allows students to participate in a nationwide waterfowl arts competition. The process also exposes students to the nation's wealth of migratory waterfowl and motivates students to take active roles in conserving these species," said Virginia Junior Duck Stamp Program coordinator, Aubrey Hall.
Hall also emphasized that "the program is meant to be a fun journey into the world of waterfowl. The artistic skill level of the students is not the focus of the contest. Not only do we want artwork from all children, we enjoy seeing the variety of pictures that the students produce."
All students entering the state contest will receive a certificate of participation. Entries may also receive prizes or honorable mention ribbons. The State Best of Show will represent Virginia in the national competition. National awards include a complimentary trip to the First Day of Duck Stamp Sales Ceremony in Washing-ton, D.C. and a monetary award.
Participants select a bird from a list of native North American waterfowl. Other design guidelines include, but are not limited to: a size of 9"x12"; horizontal orientation; and the absence of lettering, words, or signatures on the front of the design. For more information, contact refuge staff or explore the Federal Duck Stamp website www.fws.gov/juniorduck.
Entries must be mailed to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 62, Chincoteague, Va. 23336 and postmarked by midnight, March 15. Judging will occur Friday, March 19.
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. It is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals commitment to public service. For more information on its work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.