Annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest

The 2023 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest winners have been announced.
Details on the 2024 contest will be posted here later this year.

Attention, K–5 Teachers!

2021 Div. 4 2nd Place, Darina Ramirez-Mireles
2021 Div. 4 2nd Place, Darina Ramirez-Mireles

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 32nd 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 2022–23 theme: Wildlife Tales: True or False?

We look forward to working with you and your students at the 33rd annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest!

If you have any questions, please contact: Linda May (, 706-557-3226) or Audrey Stadler Mitchell (, 706 583-0894).

Contest Theme, Rules and Entry Form

Teacher Tips

2020 Div. 2 2nd Place, Jack P. Nix
2020 Div. 2 2nd Place, Jack P. Nix

Contest Rules: Start with a Local Contest at Your School

While following the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines, instruct your students to design their own artwork based on this year’s contest theme: Wildlife Tales: True or False? Artwork should depict at least one identifiable animal and/or plant native to Georgia. Include a description on the Poster Contest Entry Form, thereby demonstrating that the student understands their subject. Then arrange for a local competition of their artwork at your school or within your group (i.e., homeschool group, after-school camp, scout troop, etc.). School or group judges will select first-, second- and third-place winners (award ribbons and Give Wildlife a Chance certificates are available—refer to Contest Awards section for details).

Participating schools/groups will then choose one first-place winner from each division and email photographs of the winning entries with accompanying entry forms to The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (see Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines below). The deadline to compete in the state-level contest is April 7, 2023. State-level entries will represent one or more 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 the winning artwork will be announced and showcased on Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division and State Botanical Garden media in May 2022.

Supporting Activities

Discovering new information about wildlife can be really fun, especially when we learn about an animal’s unusual characteristics or amazing behavior. Much of what we hear or read about is true. However, many commonly held beliefs are not proven by research and don’t represent reality. This false information is also called a myth or misconception. Some untruths are relatively harmless while others may cause unnecessary fear or encourage harmful behavior.

Ask your students to brainstorm interesting things about wildlife they’ve heard or read about. Make a list and ask students if each statement is true or false. Do research if unsure. Here are some common beliefs for discussion:

  • An owl can turn its head all the way around (360 degrees).
    • FALSE. Owls can only turn their heads 270 degrees.
  • Bats are blind.
    • FALSE. All bats can see, even if they mainly use echolocation to find food.
  • If you touch a toad, you’ll get warts.
    • FALSE. Toads are bumpy but they don’t cause warts. Warts come from a virus.
  • Touching a baby bird will cause the mother to abandon it.
    • FALSE. Most birds have a poor sense of smell & aren’t alarmed by human scent.
  • Snakes are slimy.
    • FALSE, unless they’re in something slimy. As reptiles, snakes have dry, scaly skin.
  • Wood frogs can freeze for months without dying.
    • TRUE. Although frozen on the outside, glucose inside cells prevents damage.
  • Turtles can breathe through their butts.
    • TRUE, sort of… They can absorb oxygen from water through their cloaca.


Poster Contest Rules & Guidelines


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 entry per division). State-level entries are normally the artwork of the first-place school or homeschool group winners.

Entry & Format Requirements

All state-level artwork entries must be submitted electronically, any size flat artwork is fine as long as it can be photographed well (photos may be taken with a smart phone or camera). Collages and other three-dimensional artwork are not eligible.

For each state level entry, submit a full-frame photo of the artwork a photo of the accompanying completed Entry Form (via email to Audrey S. Mitchell at The State Botanical Garden no later than Friday, April 7, 2023:

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, April 7, 2023.

Contest Awards

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.

Email Audrey S. Mitchell ( with the following information:

  • School name
  • Contest coordinator’s contact information (email and street addresses, phone #)
  • Total number of students participating in the contest by grade level
  • Number of certificates, first place, second place and third place ribbons needed

State-level Award 

The artwork of first-, second- and third-place winners in the state-level contest will be showcased on GA DNR Wildlife Resources and State Botanical Garden social media. Winners also will receive state-level award ribbons and may be recognized in other ways.

Special Perks for Teachers & Parents of State Winners!

The teacher and one parent of each state-level winner will receive a free wildlife license plate, thanks to TERN! Details will be emailed to the winning students’ teachers and parents. To see wildlife tag options, visit