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Calling junior artists; enter the Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now accepting entries for the 2009 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest, which will be held at Burnsville Civic Center on March 24. Entries must be postmarked by March 15.

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has held a Jr. Duck Stamp Contest in Minnesota since 1994.

This dynamic educational program uses both conservation and design principles to teach wetland habitat and waterfowl biology to students in kindergarten through high school. The program provides an opportunity for students to artistically express their knowledge of the diversity, interdependence and beauty of wildlife.

Students may submit artwork featuring one of the following species: whistling ducks, swans, geese, brant, dabbling ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, mergansers, stiff tails, or Hawaiian ducks. A full list of permitted species is available online at www.fws.gov/juniorduck.

Judging will be open to the general public, and will be begin at 9:00 a.m. on March 24, 2009 at Burnsville Civic Center.  Artwork entries will be judged on the basis of original design, anatomical accuracy, artistic composition and suitability for reproduction on a 1" by 1.5" stamp.

During the contest, students will be judged in four groups according to grade level: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Three first, three second and three third place entries, along with 16 honorable mentions will be selected from each group. Contest judges select a "Best of Show" from the twelve first place winners, which will be submitted to the Federal Duck Stamp Office and entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held in April in Washington D.C. The winner of the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, along with his/her parent or guardian and teacher will receive a free trip to a First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July.

The first place art from the national, contest is used to create a National Junior Duck Stamp each year. The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many National Wildlife Refuges.  Proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.

A downloadable entry form and information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults can be found online at www.fws.gov/jrduck.

For additional information or if you have questions regarding your student's or school's participation in the Jr. Duck Stamp contest, please contact your Jr. Duck Stamp State Coordinator, Mara Koenig, 952-858-0710, mara_koenig@fws.gov.

Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by March 15, 2009 and mailed to:

Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

3815 American Blvd East

Bloomington, MN  55425.

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