Statewide Winners Announced in 2017 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest

Social Circle, GA
Monday, May 8, 2017 - 13:45



Artwork on Display at State Botanical Garden in Athens

Twelve school children were announced today as statewide winners in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.

More than 1,500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from 33 public schools, private schools and homeschool groups participated in the 27th annual conservation art competition, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia.

Statewide winners in the four grade divisions include:

Division 1: Kindergarten
First: Suri Nguyen, Jackson Elementary School of the Arts, Jonesboro 
Second: Joshua Dearing, Growing in the Son Early Learning Academy, Savannah
Third: Mari Cleland, St. Joseph Catholic Parish School, Athens

Division 2: First-second grades
First: Burns Stober, Central Elementary, Carrollton
Second: Sophia Horne, South Effingham Elementary, Guyton 
Third: James Bottini, Oakhurst Elementary, Decatur

Division 3: Third-fourth grades
First: Davis Hill, The Little School, Clarkesville
Second: Morgan Powell, GEAR Gifted Center, Moultrie 
Third: Alyssa Munoz, Warren Road Elementary, Augusta

Division 4: Fifth grade
First: Zarabia Brown, Spencer Elementary, Savannah
Second: Juan Diego Orduz, Tabula Rasa: The Language Academy, Atlanta
Third: Chelsea Bernard, Jackson Elementary School of the Arts, Jonesboro

Participants entered at the local school level with drawings and paintings depicting their observations of Georgia’s native plants and animals. The 2017 contest theme was “Keep Georgia Wild!” Drawings were judged on aspects such as theme, originality and the quality and impact of the artwork. Top school-level entries proceeded to the state contest at The State Botanical Garden at the University of Georgia in Athens.

All winning submissions are showcased on the DNR Wildlife Resources Division’s Flickr site, (in the “Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest” album).

This artwork will be on display in the Visitor Center & Conservatory at the State Botanical Garden in Athens from May 10-17, along with other state-level entries.

The State Botanical Garden is home to a stunning range of collections, displays and trails. The garden offers an array of educational programs for teachers, children and the public, including summer camps. The Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Species works to educate the public about the importance of using native plants in landscaping to attract native pollinators. Through the Connect to Protect program, the center provides native plants to schools, businesses and communities that want to help propagate native species.

Check the garden’s website ( or call (706) 542-1244 for details on operating hours and directions. This public garden is a gift to visitors and residents of Georgia; therefore, parking and admittance are free.

The Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is sponsored by the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, the State Botanical Garden at UGA and The Environmental Resources Network, or TERN, friends group of the Wildlife Resources Division’s Nongame Conservation Section. For more information, visit or contact the Nongame Conservation Section office in Social Circle at (706) 557-3226.

Georgians can support important conservation, recreation and education efforts as well as other programs for Georgia’s nongame wildlife by purchasing a bald eagle or hummingbird license plate or donating directly to the Nongame Conservation Section. This agency depends largely on fundraisers for its mission to conserve nongame wildlife, native plants and natural habitats. Learn more at and