DNREC announces 2012 Junior Duck Stamp winners
More than 30 artistic entries created by students in kindergarten through grade 12 from all over the state were judged March 24 in the 2012 Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Winners are on display at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Smyrna through Saturday, April 7.
Maria Ji, a 16-year-old from Wilmington and first-place winner for grades 10 through 12 won the Best of Show Award for the third consecutive year. Her acrylic painting depicts a spectacled eider on the water.
Second runner-up was Tony Monaco, age 11, of Seaford, for his oil painting of a Canada goose. Third runner-up was Hannah Doyle, age 12, of Seaford, for her watercolor of a green-winged teal.
Maria’s winning Duck Stamp entry will be judged along with other state winners Friday, April 20, in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of the Interior and slated to be held this year at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Md., near Washington, D.C. The Best of Show Award winner of the federal competition will have his or her artwork made into the 2012-13 Junior Duck Stamp and will also receive a $5,000 scholarship.
“The Junior Duck Stamp program is unique because it teaches biology and habitat conservation through scientific observation and artistic interpretation to K through 12 students,” said Dawn Webb, coordinator of the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp program.
Dorothy McCormick, age 8, the winner of this year’s K-3 grade division, said she studied ducks in the pond near her Millsboro home and in bird books to create her watercolor of an American wigeon. “When you start, you think it’s about the art,” said her mother, Shawna McCormick. “But you really need to understand the ducks and their environment.”
“The opportunity to compete in something is always an asset for kids’ learning,” said judge Rick Berry, a member of Delaware’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish and of Ducks Unlimited. “It gives kids the chance to learn about habitat around them, to learn about wildlife around them.”
The judges also included Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis; retired wildlife biologist Bill Whitman, who founded the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Contest in 1994; well-known wildlife artist and Federal Duck Stamp Competition winner Richard Clifton of Milford; and Dan Stotts, biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Judges based their decisions on anatomical accuracy of the waterfowl depicted, how well the work illustrates the species and its habitat, and which artwork would translate best into a stamp.
All 33 participants in the 18th annual contest received certificates, ribbons and prizes from sponsors. Entries, which depict a species chosen from a list of North American waterfowl, were sponsored by teachers, schools, organizations and individuals.
First place winners are as follows: grades K-3: Dorothy McCormick, age 8, Millsboro, “Swimming Along”; grades 4-6 (tie): Tony Monaco, age 11, Seaford, “Canada Goose on the Nanticoke” and Daniel Winston, age 12, Milford, untitled. Tony won first place for grades 4-6 last year and first place for grades K-3 in 2010. For grades 7-9, Hannah Doyle, age 12, Seaford won for "Duck on a Pond." Best of Show winner Maria Ji won in the grades 10-12 category.
Second-place winners include the following: grades K-3: Mercy Winston, age 8, Milford; grades 4-6: Kayla Booros, age 11, Bridgeville; grades 7-9, Rachel Winston, age 13, Milford; and grades 10-12: Alicia Hale, age 15, Bridgeville.
Third-place winners are: grades K-3: Samuel Winston, age 5, Milford; grades 4-6 (tie): Wayne Morris, age 10, Clayton, and Grace Winston, age 10, Milford. Bridget Johnson, age 13, Seaford, won third place for grades 7-9. In grades 10-12 Josiah Winston, age 15, and Joy Winston, age 17, both of Milford, also earned third.
Honorable mentions for grades K-3 are Emma Jane Morris, age 5, Clayton; Parker Reb, age 5, Felton; Talon Webb, age 7, Greenwood; and Aaron Reb, age 7, Felton.
Honorable mentions for grades 4-6 are Rocklin Reb, age 11, Felton; Bayleigh Carlisle, age 10, Seaford; Magdalyn Reb, age 9, Felton; Atira Forrest, age 10, Newark; Fiona Piper, age 11, Newark; Sabrina Baillie, age 11, Newark; Alice Toll, age 10, Newark; Quinton Kramack, age 10, Newark; John Richmond, age 10, Newark; Sarah Schoen, age 10, Newark; Gevon Cheatham, age 11, Newark; and Michael Jones, age 11, Newark.
Grades 7-9 honorable mention went to Jerald Reb, age 12, Felton; and for grades 10-12, Jonathan Winston, age 19, Milford.
Conservation message winners include Alicia Hale, age 15, Bridgeville, whose first-place message was "Conservation is fighting today to save us tomorrow."
Second place went to Josiah Winston, age 15, of Milford, who submitted, “By preserving our wetlands, we can help protect our plants and wildlife.” Jerald Reb, age 12, of Felton, received third place for “Animals and plants are important because without them humans could not survive. Also, they are fun to observe and it would be sad without them.”
Honorable mention went to Dorothy McCormick, age 8, Millsboro, who wrote "Ducks Unite Caring Kids!" Bayleigh Carlisle, age 10, Seaford also received honorable mention for “We need to keep all wildlife safe by not polluting, over harvesting and creating more wildlife habitats.”
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is at 2591 Whitehall Neck Road in Smyrna, off Route 9. The refuge’s visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset; entrance fees apply. For more information about the refuge, go to www.fws.gov/northeast/bombayhook.
For more information, contact Dawn Webb, contest coordinator, 302-422-1329.
The Junior Duck Stamp Competition is a federal program that is sponsored in Delaware by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.