Students Learn About Wetlands, Waterfowl Through National Art Contest

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Duck art finds landing zone at Cabela’s

Come see the artistic expressions created by some of Arizona’s dynamic young artists, ages 6-18. Their waterfowl artwork was created for the annual Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program and it will be on display at Cabela’s in Glendale this Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Creations of mallards, pintails, canvasbacks, geese and more, each one is created in a unique media, ranging from crayon, colored pencil, oils to acrylics. Each year, students in Arizona and across the United States submit their works of art for this annual national contest and a chance at being selected for the next year’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

The display will be open for the public to enjoy the entire month of June at Cabela’s. It is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to encourage more awareness and participation by educators and students in the annual Junior Duck Stamp Program.

“I am determined to see Arizona become a national winner. I know we have the artists in our state – it’s just a matter of finding them,” says Margot Bissell, coordinator for Arizona’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. “Hopefully this event will shine a light on the program and increase participation by more educators.”

In addition to the art contest, students are encouraged to include a conservation message to express what they have learned about wetlands. In 2006, Arizona took third place in the conservation message category.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, enacted in 1994, is a dynamic arts curriculum that incorporates science and art to teach students, kindergarten through high school, about wetlands and waterfowl, and increases their appreciation for natural places. Participation in the Junior Duck Stamp Program is largely dependent on dedicated teachers and parents who incorporate the program into various learning environments.

The Blue Goose, mascot for the USFWS, will be on hand to greet visitors of all ages. Fish and Wildlife personnel will be available to provide information about the program and how public, private and home schools can incorporate this conservation education into their curriculum. Representatives from the Arizona Game and Fish Department will also be at the event to answer questions about the state duck stamp and how the proceeds are used to support wetland conservation in Arizona and North America.

After being displayed at Cabela’s, the art showcase will go on to the Mayo Clinic’s cancer wing in North Scottsdale and will remain there until the end of September.

“Having the artwork of these wonderful children on display will warm the hearts of many ill patients while waiting for their treatments,” says Bissell. “Not only are these students learning about waterfowl and wetlands through artistic expression, they are having a positive impact on other people’s lives – during a very difficult time. That alone is immeasurable.”

Cabela’s is located at 9380 W. Glendale Ave., in Glendale, on the northeast corner of Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.

To learn more about the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, visit www.fws.gov/juniorduck.

To purchase a Junior Duck Stamp, visit any U.S. Postal office, the USPS Web site at www.usps.com, or online at www.duckstamp.com. The cost is only $5.

Note to media: This event offers photos/video of the artwork of this year’s “best in show winner” and interviews with the Arizona state junior duck stamp coordinator.