The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is an integrated art and science curriculum developed to teach environmental science and habitat conservation.
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is an integrated art and science curriculum developed to teach environmental science and habitat conservation. The competition is open to all students of public, private or home schools in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. It has been designed to fit in with existing programs in these areas and conform to state and national curricular standards. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles and cross cultural, ethnic, social and geographic barriers to teach a greater awareness of our Nation's natural resources. This pairing of subject areas allows students to learn about conserving the habitat while they explore the aesthetic qualities of wildlife and nature.
The Junior Duck Stamp Program is also a conservation program designed to teach children about waterfowl and the value of wetlands. The dividends for program participation are tremendous. As students increase their knowledge and awareness of waterfowl, they develop an appreciation for wildlife and will become future stewards of the natural resource. Since the inception of the program in 1990, educators and parents have recounted the many ways it has had an immeasurable impact on their students. Students have increased their observation skills, made great improvements in other academic areas, increased self-esteem and some have launched a career in art.
Each year the federal competition is broken down into competitions by state. Tennessee is entering into its ninth year participating in this program. In the past the Tennessee program has had around 1500 annual participants. In 2004, more than 1300 students from 46 schools and 12 home schools participated in the contest, bringing the total number of participants to more than 1,800 since the program began.
Whereas the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the official sponsor of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, each state has to have other supporters for a successful program. Since the programs inception, nearly years ago, The Tennessee Wildlife Federation has sponsored the competition and has helped to incorporate a college scholarship program into the awards for Tennessee. The Best of Show winner each year receives the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Jeanette Rudy $1,000 Scholarship. Many of our Best of Show winners are talented young artists and pursue an art career upon entering college. This has been the case for the last three Best of Show winning artists. Both the TCL and TWRA have been instrumental in helping spread the word about the program through their various publications. The FWS also prints and sends out a full color brochure and a curriculum guide to each school in Tennessee.
The Tennessee program boasts an excellent awards program at the Opryland Hotel each spring. The entire awards program is paid for each year by philatelist Jeanette Rudy, the owner of the world's largest Federal Duck Stamp collection and avid supporter of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp program. The top 100 winners from the state are treated to this glittery awards presentation filled with prizes.