Catch the Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit in its last week in the Lake area. During the months of February and March, area libraries have been hosting the exhibit of original student artwork.

Catch the Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit in its last week in the Lake area.
During the months of February and March, area libraries have been hosting the exhibit, a project sponsored by the Lake Arts Council, Missouri Arts Council, Bass Pro Shops, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Conservation.  
The exhibit is on display at the Eldon Public Library, 308 E. 1st Street, now through Wednesday, March 19 during regular business hours. The exhibit of original student artwork has already been hosted by libraries in Osage Beach, Camdenton and Versailles.
According to Osage Beach Library Branch Manager, Karen Colgan, many people viewed the exhibit while it was at that location from Feb. 5-14 and expressed nothing but positive comments.
“My wish is that some of our local children will one day have art work in that exhibit, it is just such a nice program. It is amazing what the children can learn to do," Colgan said.
In early 2000, with Jackie Bray serving as President of the Lake Arts Council, the Junior Duck Stamp exhibit was adopted as a means of educating the public about an available art program for students and to expose the public to its rewards. Bray became a judge of the contest along with Ken Gerardy, who was a LAC Board member at the time. Gerardy continues to serve as a judge, each year, and is the person responsible for obtaining the exhibit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in Columbia. In earlier years, the exhibit was hung in the lobby of Bank Star One in Lake Ozark. More recently, wanting to have more public exposure, local libraries were asked to host the exhibit. Vicki Granneman of the Camden County Library has this to say, “It is a great art display, one that both the library patrons and staff anticipate and thoroughly enjoy.”
The Junior Duck Stamp contest is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the goal of “connecting children with nature through science and art.”  The program which was developed in 1994 is now active in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. More than 27,000 students enter the Junior Duck Stamp contest each year. Revenue from the sale of the Junior Duck stamps is used to support the awards and environmental education.  
The Junior Duck Stamp Program provides an opportunity for students to artistically express their knowledge and beauty of wild life and the interdependency of the environment. The curriculum was redesigned in 2012-2013 making it more relevant to today’s teachers and students. It now includes the use of the internet as a conservation tool and new information about today’s conservation challenges such as climate change and its impact on wetland habitat. Another important addition offered is educational tools designed for use in home school and community after school programs. Besides translating the conservation learning achieved into a visual art, the students are required to compose a conservation statement about what they have learned. This statement is, as well as the visual, judged on both the state and federal levels where winners are selected and awards are granted.
The contest begins each spring when students submit their art work to the state or territory contest. At the State level, the student art work is judged in four groups according to grade level. Group I being kindergarten through grade 3, Group II: grades 4 -6, Group III: grades 7-9, and Group IV: grades 10-12. Three first, second and third place entries are selected from each Group. A “Best of Show” is selected by the judges from the twelve first place winners regardless of their grade group. The “Best of Show” entry from each state or territory is sent to the National contest. At that level a Federal Junior Duck Stamp is selected. All state, district or territory “Best of Show” entry are displayed at the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, First Day of Sale Ceremony, waterfowl festivals, wildlife museums and galleries throughout the United States.
Each year, the winning art at the national level is used to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The national first place winner is also awarded $5,000, second place, $3,000 and third place receives $2,000. The top conservation message at the national level is awarded $500. The students also receive prizes and other recognitions at the state level.
Junior Duck Stamps, although not valid to be used as postage, may be purchased at United States Post offices for $5. Some sporting goods stores carry the stamp as well. All proceeds from the sale are returned to the Junior Duck Stamp Program.
For more information about the Junior Duck Stamp program or to find entry forms and contest guidelines, go to