Friday, February 22, 2013

Annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

Elementary, middle and high school teachers are encouraged to have their
students participate in the annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art
Contest, an integral part of the eighth annual national Endangered Species
Day, celebrated on May 17, 2013.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and numerous conservation organizations
will observe Endangered Species Day to recognize conservation efforts
underway across the nation aimed at helping America’s imperiled species.
This year also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species
Act.

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a
celebration of the nation’s rarest plant and animal species. The Youth Art
Contest provides students from kindergarten to high school with an
opportunity to learn about threatened and endangered species and express
their knowledge and support through artwork. Young artists who are home
schooled and participate in youth groups are also eligible to submit their
art. Previous winners have come from California, Minnesota, New Jersey,
Louisiana and as far away as Alaska. Entries must be postmarked by March
15, 2013.

This year, the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest finalists will be
judged by a prestigious panel of artists, photographers and
conservationists, including Wyland, renowned marine life artist; Jack
Hanna, host of *Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild; *David Littschwager, a
freelance photographer and regular contributor to National Geographic
Magazine; Susan Middletown, a photographer who has collaborated with
Littschwager and whose own work has been published in four books; and Alice
Tangerini, botanical illustrator for the Smithsonian Institution.

The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) will select the 40
semifinalists from thousands of entries. It takes empathy, direct action
and awareness to prevent the extinction of endangered species. Art can
certainly play an important role. The Youth Art Contest is an ideal
platform to engage the next generation.

Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades
6-8 and Grades 9-12, and will receive plaques and art supply gift packs. In
addition, one grand prize winner will be honored with their name engraved
on a special trophy and receive a round-trip flight to Washington, D.C.
with one guardian to attend a reception in May. The grand prize winner will
also receive art supplies and a special art lesson (via Skype) from Wyland,
the artist.

The Youth Art Contest is organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and
the International Child Art Foundation. For more information, including
judging criteria and an entry form, visit
http://www.endangeredspeciesday.org/.

Many of the Service’s field and regional offices will be hosting events in
their communities and providing unique programs to visitors on endangered
species conservation in celebration of Endangered Species Day. For more
information on how you can find an event near you, please visit
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ESDay/index.html.

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and
ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. To
learn more about the Service’s Endangered Species program, go to
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ where you can download podcasts and find
links to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

*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 **www.fws.gov*<http://www.fws.gov>
*. Connect with our Facebook page at
**www.facebook.com/usfws*<http://www.facebook.com/usfws>
*, follow us on Twitter at
**www.twitter.com/usfwshq*<http://www.twitter.com/usfwshq>
*, watch our YouTube Channel at
**http://www.youtube.com/usfws*<http://www.youtube.com/usfws>
* and download photos from our Flickr page at **
http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq* <http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq>