Annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest

The 2019 statewide winners were announced in May. See the winning posters on SmugMug.

Bog Turtle in Hand
Bog Turtle, L. May/GADNR

Attention, K–5 Teachers!

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) encourage you and your students to participate in the 30th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest! As part of DNR and TERN’s “Kids For Conservation” initiative, this art contest provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through fifth-grade students to explore the wonders of Georgia’s native plants and animals through the 2019–2020 theme: Georgia Bogs: Unique Wetlands for Rare Species.

Native species are those that naturally occur in Georgia, unlike exotic species that were introduced from other places and may be invasive (like English ivy and kudzu). Georgia’s native plants and animals come in all shapes and sizes—from the large, moss-covered live oak (our state tree) to the little grass frog, the smallest frog species in North America.

Our state is home to approximately 3,600 species of native plants, about 950 vertebrate species and countless invertebrate species and non-vascular plants. About 95% of Georgia’s native wildlife species are nongame (those which are not legally fished for or hunted) and include rare, threatened or endangered animals and plants such as the bog turtle and Carolina bogmint.

From remote forests and fields to neighborhoods and cities, wildlife can be found everywhere. Take your students outside to discover Georgia’s wildlife! Schoolyards and backyards are great places to start, but you can also explore community greenspaces, botanical gardens, nature centers, state parks and wildlife management areas.

We look forward to working with you and your students at the 30th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest!

If you have any questions, please contact: Linda May (linda.may@dnr.ga.gov, 706-557-3226) or Cora Keber (ckeber@uga.edu, 706-542-6158).

Contest materials: 


Teacher Tips

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) invite you to participate in the 30th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest!

Wild animals and native plants enrich our lives and serve special roles in the environment. To celebrate three decades of the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest, we chose a very special habitat to highlight, as indicated by the 2019–2020 theme: Georgia Bogs: Unique Wetlands for Rare Species.

Once thought of as muddy wastelands, bogs are now considered extraordinary ecosystems full of life. In addition to serving as habitat for common wildlife, bogs provide the soft, spongy peat soil that many unique, rare species require. Pitcherplants, sundews and bladderworts thrive there. These carnivorous plants attract, trap and digest insects and small animals for nourishment. The state-endangered bog turtle lives in Southern Appalachian mountain bogs too. Once covering much of north Georgia and the Coastal Plain, bog habitats have either shrunk in size or disappeared over the last century. These fragile, open wetlands have been drained to create roads, farms and reservoirs. That means the plants and animals that live there are harder to find too. With increased awareness about the fascinating species that call bogs their home, hopefully this destructive trend can be reversed—not only by limiting damage caused by new development but also by restoring previously drained and overgrown bogs.

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.

Start with a Local Contest at Your School

While following the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines, your students will design their own artwork based on this year’s contest theme. Then they will compete at the local level in a school-wide poster contest (homeschoolers may participate within their homeschool group). First-, second- and third-place winners should be chosen from your school’s entries for the local-level contest (award ribbons and Give Wildlife a Chance certificates are available—refer to Contest Awards section for details). Participating schools will then choose one first-place winner from each division and mail the winning entries to The State Botanical Garden of Georgia to compete in the state-level contest by the April 10, 2020 deadline. These entries will be comprised of the four division categories described in the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines section. First-, second- and third-place winners will be chosen as state-level winners from each division level, and their artwork will be showcased on GA DNR Wildlife Resources social media, as well as at the State Botanical Garden in Athens from May 6–13, 2020.

Classroom Activities and Resources

Learn all about Georgia’s bogs through these online resources:

See pitcherplants and other carnivorous plants up-close at the State Botanical Garden in Athens or a similar garden or nature center near you. Visit www.eeingeorgia.org to search for bog gardens in your area.

Create a bog garden at your school! Refer to the resource links at www.georgiawildlife.com/PosterContest, as well as the State Botanical Garden’s Connect to Protect program.


Poster Contest Rules & Guidelines

Sponsorship & Judging

2nd Place
2019 Div. 1 2nd Place, Brantley Luckey

The 30th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is sponsored by The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN). The theme changes yearly, though the contest is an ongoing educational effort to help children and teachers gain awareness of Georgia’s native plants and animals. Artists as well as wildlife and plant professionals judge the contest entries based on artistic interpretation, originality, visual impact and contest theme.

Eligibility

  • The contest is open to individual students (no group drawings) in kindergarten through 5th grades.
  • Homeschool groups, public schools and private schools are encouraged to participate.
  • Schools/groups may enter one poster from any or all divisions:
    • Division 1: Kindergarten
    • Division 2: First and Second Grades
    • Division 3: Third and Fourth Grades
    • Division 4: Fifth Grade
  • Each school/group may enter no more than a total of four posters to the state level contest (one per division).

Size & Format

  1. Outside dimensions cannot exceed 17" x 22" (vertically or horizontally).
  2. Collages and other three-dimensional artwork are not suitable for this contest.
  3. Posters should be submitted on white tagboard or on white art paper (no matting).
  4. DO NOT FOLD. Submit art flat in a package or roll into a mailing tube.
  5. If you want the students’ entries returned, you MUST include exact postage (stamps only—no metered tapes) and mailing label or the entries will not be returned.

Contest Rules

  1. While following the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines, instruct your students to create their own artwork based on this year’s theme, and arrange for a local competition of their artwork at your school or within your homeschool group.

  2. Each entry should depict at least one identifiable native plant and/or animal of Georgia. Please include the artwork description information on the Poster Contest Entry Form, thereby demonstrating to the judges that the student researched their subject.

  3. First-, second- and third-place winners should be chosen at the local level (refer to Contest Awards section).

  4. All participating students can receive place award ribbons and a Give Wildlife a Chance certificate (refer to Contest Awards section).

  5. Only ONE school-wide winner from each division can be chosen to compete in the state-level contest at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (refer to Eligibility section). State-level entries are normally the artwork of the first-place school winners.

  6. All contest entries must adhere to the contest theme: Georgia Bogs: Unique Wetlands for Rare Species

Entry Form

  1. Attach a copy of the poster contest entry form to the back of each poster with tape.
  2. Please DO NOT use glue or staples.
  3. Send poster contest entries to: 
    Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest
    State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    2450 South Milledge Avenue
    Athens, GA 30605
    P: 706-542-6156; F: 706-542-3826

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, April 10, 2020.


Contest Awards

3rd Place
2019 Div. 2 3rd Place, Youcef Zeguelli

Certificates & Ribbons

Educators may request Give Wildlife a Chance certificates for all students who participate in their local school competition, as well as first-, second-, and third-place ribbons to present to class, grade level or school group participants. There is no limit to the number of certificates or ribbons a participating school can receive.

  • Mail, or fax, or email the Request For Awards form to:
    Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest​
    State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    2450 South Milledge Avenue
    Athens, GA 30605
    F: 706-542-3826
    ckeber@uga.edu

State-level Award 

The artwork that is selected as first-, second- and third-place winners at the state level will be showcased on GA DNR Wildlife Resources social media as well as displayed at the State Botanical Garden in Athens, GA from May 6-13, 2020. Students also will receive state-level ribbons and may be recognized in other ways. Teachers and parents are encouraged to bring children to see the winning artwork on display and enjoy the beauty of the garden’s fascinating variety of plants. The fields and forests are great areas for wildlife watching too. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. For directions, operating hours and a garden map, visit http://botgarden.uga.edu.

Special Perks for Teachers & Parents of State Winners!

The teacher and one parent of each state-level winner will receive a free bald eagle wildlife license plate, thanks to TERN: the DNR Wildlife Conservation Friends Group! Details will be emailed to the winning students’ teachers and parents.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) encourage you and your students to participate in the annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest!

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