Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Students Can Explore Nature's 'Gifts' in Poster Contest

Teachers and students across Georgia are invited to discover “Nature’s Gifts: The Plants and Animals of Georgia” by taking part in the annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest. What do students hear, smell or see in their schoolyard, backyard or community park? Was it frogs, whip-poor-wills, cicadas or even a bat? Turn these sights and sounds into artwork and enter the 19th annual conservation art contest. The deadline for entries in the state-level contest is March 9.

The contest is open to all kindergarten through 5th-grade students in public schools, private schools and home school. Participants enter at the local school level with drawings that depict their observations of Georgia’s native plants and animals. Top school-level entries proceed to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. First-, second- and third-place winners are chosen there for four divisions: kindergarten, first and second grade, third and fourth grade, and fifth grade.

The top 12 winners will be showcased in the 2009-2010 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest calendar. All state-level contest entries will be on display at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield from March 21-April 4.

This year’s competition theme, “Nature’s Gifts: The Plants and Animals of Georgia,” showcases Georgia’s magnificent plants and animals and their unique interactions by which they thrive and call this state home. In the wild, animals’ survival depends heavily on plants, and in most cases, plants need the assistance of animals to survive as well.

Whether in the schoolyard or the backyard, students can illustrate all the out-of-doors has to offer while learning more about Georgia’s nongame plants and animals – nature’s gifts to Georgia! The artwork might reflect the melodies of birds and insects, or the chirps of frogs and hoots of owls at a nearby pond. What do the trees and soil feel like?

With a touch of creativity and color, these sights and sounds can be transformed into magnificent artwork that depicts wildlife in their native Georgia habitat.

2009 poster contest sponsors include the Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (T.E.R.N.), the friends group of the Wildlife Resources Division.

Visit www.georgiawildlife.com (click “Get Involved” and the “Wildlife Poster Contest” link) or www.uga.edu/botgarden for contest rules, entry forms and further information about the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.

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