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East Elementary Student Will Represent Kentucky in National Junior Duck Stamp Contest

East Elementary Student Will Represent Kentucky in National Junior Duck Stamp Contest

East Calloway Elementary student Heath Travis has won the 2024 Kentucky Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message contest. His message was chosen from over 900 entries statewide.  

His message will now represent Kentucky and compete with entries from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several U.S. territories in The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art and Design Contest on April 19th. These 54 artists and writers are competing for scholarships and to become the next Junior Duck Stamp or Conservation Message winner for the Nation.

Travis's message is: “Conserve today for a better habitat, conserve tomorrow for a better world.” The 10-year-old student was shocked after being called to the principal’s office to receive a call from the panel of judges to congratulate him.

East art teacher Sherry Darnall has helped students participate in the Junior Duck Stamp contest for several years. Many of the students have won prizes for their art and their conservation messages, but this year was extra special with a Best of Show win. When speaking about Travis, Ms. Darnall said she was thrilled and noted he is a student who “really tries hard.”

Students, in grades Kindergarten through 12th, across Kentucky worked hard this year learning about waterfowl, wetlands, and conservation. They then used what they learned to create artwork and write a short conservation message. On March 28th, over 920 entries were scrutinized by panel of five judges. 

The art and the messages are judged separately in Kentucky, something that is not done in other states. The Best of Show art was awarded to Paul Van Laningham from Burlington, Kentucky for his colored pencil drawing of a Lesser Scaup.

Thanks to the judges’ selections, over 400 participating students will receive various prizes including ribbons, certificates, cash, and art supplies. Prizes are made possible by sponsors of the contest: Southern Conservation Corporation, Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, Friends of Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, and Friends of Green River National Wildlife Refuge.

Junior Duck Stamps are produced and released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service each July. They are sold online by the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex Corporation for $5 each. Proceeds from stamp sales are invested in the program to fund scholarships for national contest winners, state programs, and environmental education materials.