Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Junior Duck Stamp winner announced

A 15-year-old from Amoret, Mo., won the 2006-2007 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest last week. Rebekah Nastav's acrylic painting of a Redhead, called "Morning Swim," will go on sale June 1 for $5. The funds go toward environmental education programs.

Previous winners include Adam Nisbett of St. James, Mo., who recently earned the Overall Young Birder of the Year Award for the 14- to 18-year-old group in the American Birding Association's annual competition. Nisbett painted Fulvous Whistling-Ducks for the stamp contest.

The junior Duck Stamp contest wraps up a year-long conservation curriculum, and each state hosts competitions between February and mid-April. The state winners receive scrutiny from five judges in Washington, D.C., and the winning artist receives a free trip to D.C. with a parent, the art teacher and the state coordinator in June... and $5,000. Not too shabby, as Adam Sandler would say.

Nastav's junior Duck Stamp will go on sale June 1, the same day as the federal Duck Stamp depicting Ross' Goose by Sherrie Russell Meline of Mt. Shasta, Calif. Federal Duck Stamp sales benefit birders as well as hunters, and the $15 stamps are available at post offices and via www.duckstamp.com.

This weekend, I heard a well-known birder say he'd never seen a Duck Stamp. As someone who'd benefited for decades from national wildlife refuges and other sites conserved with Duck Stamp proceeds, how could that have happened?


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