A young artist from Scarsdale, N.Y., has taken top honors at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest.
A harlequin duck painted by Nicole Jeon, 16, will grace the 2019-2020 Junior Duck Stamp, which raises funds to educate and engage the 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 all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Students annually participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Program at school, at home, in after-school groups and at refuges, parks and nature centers. 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 sportsmen and women and conservationists.
The Junior Duck Stamp program began in 1989 as an extension of the Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting 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. Some 3,000 Junior Duck Stamps are sold annually for $5 each.
Jasmine Kang, 16, of River Vale, N.J., took second place with an acrylic depicting a wood duck.
Third place went to Paige Collins, 14, of Mountain Top, Pa., for a pastel rendition of a long-tailed duck.
In addition to the art contest, a Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest encourages students to expresses 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 Haley Chandler, 18, of Vilonia, Ark., who wrote: Environment is our foundation, wildlife is our inspiration, conservation is our aspiration.
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 awards and scholarships to individuals who submit winning designs in state or national competitions and for awards to schools and other participants to further education activities related to the conservation education goals of the program.
The First Day of Sale ceremony for the 2019-2020 Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp will be held June 28, 2019, at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo. The event begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Both winning artists will be available to sign.
— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service