2013 Delaware Junior Duck Stamp winners announced

Elizabeth Vander Laan, winner of the 2013 Junior Duck Stamp competitionDOVER (March 27, 2013) – On March 23, artistic entries from students in grades K through 12 throughout the state were judged in the 2013 Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Winners are on display at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Milton now through Saturday, March 30. 

Elizabeth Vander Laan, a 12-year-old from Greenville, won best of show in her first year entering the competition. Her watercolor painting of a harlequin duck, titled “Cruising Downstream,” also won first place for grades 7 through 9. Elizabeth’s winning Duck Stamp entry will be judged along with other state winners on April 19 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 National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va. The best of show winner of the federal competition will become the 2013-2014 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.

Sponsored by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, the Junior Duck Stamp competition provides an opportunity for students throughout Delaware to participate in a national art competition keyed to native waterfowl and wetland values. Students learn hands-on activities in waterfowl, wetland and habitat education and conservation while completing duck stamp art entries.

The judging panel included Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Matt DiBona; 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 Biologist Bill Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Judges base 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.

Runners-up for Best of Show were:

Second runner-up: Alicia Hale, age 16, Bridgeville, “Sunset Melody”

Third runner-up: Sarah Ding, age 9, Newark, “The Swimming Snow Geese”

First place winners are:

Grades K-3: Samuel Winston, age 6, Milford, “Mallard”

Grades 4-6: Sarah Ding, age 9, Newark, “The Swimming Snow Goose”

Grades 7-9: Elizabeth Vander Laan, age 12, Greenville, “Swimming Downstream”

Grades 10-12: Alicia Hale, age 16, Bridgeville, “Sunset Melody”

Second place winners are:

Grades 4-6: Kayla Booros, age 12, Bridgeville

Grades 7-9: Rachael Winston, age 14, Milford

Grades 10-12: Josiah Winston, age 16, Milford 

Third place winners are:

Grades 4-6: Tony Monaco, age 12, Seaford

Grades 7-9: Hannah Doyle, age 14, Seaford

Honorable mentions are:

Grades 4-6: Dorothy McCormick, age 9, Millsboro; Mercy Winston, age 9, Milford; Mckenna Breeding, age 10, Felton; Grace Winston, age 11, Milford; Marley Fishburn, age 11

Grades 7-9: Daniel Winston, age 13, Milford

Conservation message winners are:

First Place: Hanna Doyle, age 14, Seaford – “It is important to conserve today to ensure that wildlife will have a home tomorrow.”

Second Place: Kayla Booros, age 12, Bridgeville – “Protect and preserve our wetlands so that wildlife can have a place to call home.”

Third Place: Josiah Winston, age 16, Milford – “Let us safeguard our wetlands and wildlife habitats, so as to safeguard our country’s beauty!”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Samuel Winston, age 6, Milford – “Keep the ducks home clean and safe!”
  • Elizabeth Yocher, age 9, Dover – “Wetlands provide clean water for many animals.”
  • Sarah Ding, age 9, Newark – “Protect our wetlands to insure strong ecosystems.”
  • Dorothy McCormick, age 9, Millsboro – “The paddle of webbed feet, recycling a can, will make a difference in God’s wildlife plan.”
  • Mercy Winston, age 9, Milford – “Keep our waters clean!”
  • Mckenna Breeding, age 10, Felton – “In order for wildlife to survive, and focus to have clean water, we have to take good care of our wetlands.”
  • Marley Fishburn, age 11, Seaford – “I live on the water and can’t imagine life without ducks, geese, and herons!”
  • Grace Winston, age 11, Milford – “Protect, preserve and keep habitats safe!”
  • Tony Monaco, age 12, Seaford – “Protecting our wildlife and their habitats will help to keep them alive for years to come.”
  • Elizabeth Vander Laan, age 12, Greenville – “Keep wetland water clean so ducks can swim.”
  • Daniel Winston, age 13, Milford – “Don’t let the duck sit in the muck!”
  • Rachel Winston, age 14, Milford – “Keep duck habitats clean, and they will be able to soar to new heights.”
  • Alicia Hale, age 16, Bridgeville – “Conservation: Fighting for a brighter future.” 

All 16 participants in the 19th annual contest received a certificate, 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.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is located at 11978 Turkle Pond Road, Milton. The refuge’s visitor center is currently open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 31. Beginning April 1, the visitor center will stay open until 4 p.m. on weekends. Entrance fees apply. For more information about the refuge, please visit www.fws.gov/northeast/primehook.

The 2013 Junior Duck Stamp entries also will be displayed along with this year’s Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and Delaware Trout Stamp entries at the Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village in Dover for two weeks beginning Thursday, April 11.

For more information about displaying the artwork or about the Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Contest, please contact Dawn Webb, contest coordinator, 302-422-1329.

The Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Competition supports Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is part of the national No Child Left Inside program.

CONTACT: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Vol. 43, No. 112