A talented young artist from Kansas has taken top honors at theNational Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. A pair of hooded mergansers by 18-year-old Margaret McMullen, will grace the 2021-2022 Junior Duck Stamp, which raises funds to educate and engage our 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 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. Territories.
“I am so excited that thousands of talented young students from across the United States participated in this year’s Junior Duck Stamp Program, and especially proud to announce the top winners of this prestigious contest,” said service principal deputy director Martha Williams. “This program is one of our hallmark efforts to engage youth and foster a lifelong connection with the natural world through science, art and language.”
Students in kindergarten through grade twelve participate in their annual state Junior Duck Stamp Program through their school, home, art studio or after-school group, or from a national wildlife refuge, park or nature center. 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 conservationists.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program began in 1989 as an extension of theMigratory Bird Hunting and Conservation 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. Approximately 2,000 Junior Duck Stamps are sold annually for $5 each.
Second place winner was Daniel Schumacher, age 18, from North Dakota, with an acrylic painting of a redhead.
Third place went to 12-year-old Ariah Lowell from Maine, who entered a harlequin duck painted in oils.
In addition to the art contest, a Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest encourages students to express 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 Josie Arp, 15, of Arkansas with her message: “When the world turned upside-down nature calmly and quietly laid a blanket of comfort over us all.”
You canbuyJunior 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 recognition of individuals who submit winning designs in state or national competitions, and to further activities related to the conservation education goals of the program.