ROCKLAND — A painting by 17 year-old Lena Champlin of North Yarmouth, won Best of Show in the Maine competition of the 2011 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest. The judging was held at the Camden Public Library on March 22.
Lena a senior at Greely High School entered an acrylic painting of a Barrow’s Goldeneye. Her entry was chosen from the 526 received from 12 schools and groups throughout Maine. It has been sent to Washington, D.C., to compete with Best of Show winners from other states in the national contest to be held on April 15. Her artwork will be included in an exhibit that will tour the United States for the coming year. In addition to her first place and Best of Show ribbons, Lena will receive a fifty dollar gift certificate, pair of field binoculars donated by L.L. Bean, and a 2011 waterfowl calendar and book donated by Ducks Unlimited.
The contest is organized each year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is part of a program that teaches students in grades K-12 about wetlands and waterfowl conservation. It is modeled after the Federal Duck Stamp Contest for adult artists. Students create original artwork showing North American ducks, geese or swans in their natural habitats. First, second, third and honorable mention awards are given out in four age categories.
Judges for this year’s contest were: Kristen Lindquist, Coastal Mountains Land Trust; Kelsey Sullivan, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; Brian Benedict, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Ken Gross, Camden Public Library Program Director; Adrienne Leppold, Graduate Student University of Maine.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to thank Camden Public Library for hosting the judging and L.L. Bean, and Ducks Unlimited for their continued support of the contest.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program was created in 1989 by Dr. Joan Allemand. She wanted to develop an art curriculum that would teach wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students from kindergarten through high school. The art contest started in 1990 with 3,000 students from California participating. Today more than 27,000 students throughout the United States, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
The preparation and participation in the program itself is an educational experience in that the students are required to think about and understand the fundamental principles of anatomy and environmental science. It also provides an opportunity for students to learn science and express their knowledge of the beauty and diversity of wildlife artistically.
The first place national winning design is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The Junior Duck Stamps cost $5 each and proceeds go to support conservation education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools. This year, the First Place National Winner will receive a $5,000 cash award and a free trip to Washington DC to attend the Federal Duck Stamp First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July along with one parent and the winner’s teacher.