Twelve elementary-school children have been announced as statewide winners in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest. About 1,450 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from 23 public schools, private schools and homeschool groups participated in the 26th annual conservation art competition, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia.
Statewide winners in the four grade divisions include:
Division 1: Kindergarten
First: Ginna Dugas, St. Joseph Catholic Parish School, Athens
Second: Campbell Haskett, Arnold Mill Elementary, Woodstock
Third: Levi Gray, Bowdon Elementary, Bowdon
Division 2: First-second grades
First: Kayla Collins, Murphy Candler Elementary, Lithonia
Second: Clayton Scott, St. Joseph Catholic Parish School, Athens
Third: Riley Bessoff, Arnold Mill Elementary, Woodstock
Division 3: Third-fourth grades
First: Shekinah Ledgister, Jackson Elementary “School of the Arts,” Jonesboro
Second: Dominic Noel, St. Joseph Catholic Parish School, Athens
Third: Amalia Andrade, Winnona Park Elementary, Decatur
Division 4: Fifth grade
First: Natalie Kassa, Jackson Elementary “School of the Arts,” Jonesboro
Second: Maggie Schuckenbrock, The Museum School, Decatur
Third: Mary Davis Hancock, Barrow Elementary, Athens
Participants entered at the local school level with drawings and paintings depicting their observations of
Georgia’s native plants and animals. The 2016 contest theme was “Every Species Matters!” Drawings were judged based on aspects such as theme, originality and the quality and impact of the artwork. Top school-level entries proceeded to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia in Athens.
All winning pieces are showcased on the DNR Wildlife Resources Division’s Flickr site, www.flickr.com/photos/wildliferesourcesdivision (in the “2016 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest” album).
This artwork also will be on display in the Visitor Center & Conservatory at the State Botanical Garden in Athens through May 17, along with other state-level entries.
The State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia is home to a stunning range of collections, displays and trails. The garden offers an array of educational programs for teachers, children and the public, including summer camps. The Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Species works to educate the public about the importance of using native plants in landscaping to attract native pollinators. Through the Connect to Protect program, the center provides native plants to schools, businesses and communities that want to help propagate native species. Check the garden’s website (www.botgarden.uga.edu) or call (706) 542-1244 for details on operating hours and directions.
This public garden is a gift to visitors and residents of Georgia; therefore, parking and admittance are free.
The Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is sponsored by the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, the State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network Inc., or TERN, friends group of the Wildlife Resources Division’s Nongame Conservation Section. For more information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/PosterContest or contact the Nongame Conservation Section office in Social Circle at (706) 557-3226.
Georgians can support important conservation, recreation and education efforts as well as other programs for Georgia’s nongame wildlife by purchasing a bald eagle or hummingbird license plate or donating directly to the Nongame Conservation Section. This agency depends largely on fundraisers for its mission to conserve nongame wildlife, native plants and natural habitats. Learn more at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/support.