Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
Update: The 2014 statewide winners were announced May 6. Read more .
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) encourage you and your students to participate in the 24th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest! This popular conservation art contest provides a unique opportunity for students to explore the wonders of Georgia’s native plant and animal species through this year’s theme: Plug into Nature.
Research  shows that teachers who submerge their classes in nature increase their students' ability to focus and make observations, to cooperate with others, and to achieve higher test scores. Even unstructured outdoor play  yields a host of benefits. While technology is very useful at times, smart phones, electronic tablets, and digital cameras best serve as supplements to natural encounters  rather than replacements. Through this year's Plug into Nature theme, your students can express through art what they see and how they feel when they're outside -- perhaps joyful as they marvel at a flower's intricate details, giggly as they observe the antics of a chipmunk, or refreshed as they feel cool stream water on their feet while searching for crayfish.
The goal of the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is to generate a greater knowledge and appreciation of Georgia's diverse and increasingly threatened wildlife and their habitats. It is only a deep concern and commitment to these wild places that will ensure their existence for future generations to enjoy.
While game species are important to wildlife diversity, this art contest focuses on nongame animals (species not hunted or fished for) and native plants. Native species are those that naturally occur in Georgia, unlike exotic species that were introduced from other places. They come in all shapes and sizes -- from the large, moss-covered live oak tree of south Georgia (our state tree) to the little grass frog, the smallest frog species in North America.
The vast majority of Georgia’s native wildlife species are nongame and include rare or endangered animals and plants such as the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the hooded pitcherplant, an unusual carnivorous plant found in the longleaf pine ecosystem. There are approximately 3,600 species of nongame plants, 950 nongame vertebrate species and countless invertebrate species and nonvascular plants—all together, more than 95 percent of Georgia’s wildlife species are considered nongame!
Nongame wildlife can be found in your schoolyard, students’ backyards or community parks. Some of the nongame wildlife that your students can depict in their artwork are bats, chipmunks, darters, frogs, hawks, insects, manatees, salamanders, sea turtles, songbirds, snakes, and many species of native plants. Take your students on a field trip to a nearby state park, botanical garden or wildlife management area and set them free to discover Georgia’s wildlife!
We look forward to working with you and your students at the 24th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest! Full contest details are included in the contest brochure below. If you have further questions, please contact Linda May (706.557.3026, email@example.com) or Cora Keber (706.542.6156, firstname.lastname@example.org).