Twelve school children recently were announced as statewide winners in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.
About 1,100 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from 22 public schools, private schools, homeschool groups and after-school camps took part in the 31st annual conservation art competition held by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.
Statewide winners in the four grade divisions include:
Division 1: Kindergarten
- First: Delyla Brooks, Funston Elementary, Funston.
- Second: Annalyn Wietecha, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville.
- Third: Julian Luetkemoeller, Peachtree Academy, Conyers.
Division 2: First–second grades
- First: Ava Sorrow, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville.
- Second: Kenya Espinosa Sandoval, Funston Elementary, Funston.
- Third: Flora Maldonado Wells, Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary, Athens.
Division 3: Third–fourth grades
- First: Jayden Mulamoottill, Barrow Elementary, Athens.
- Second: Hadley Marunich, Elbert County Elementary, Elberton.
- Third: AnnaGail Hammack, Southland Academy, Americus.
Division 4: Fifth grade
- First: Alfonzo Mitchell, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville.
- Second: Darina Ramirez-Mireles, Funston Elementary, Funston.
- Third: Jaimie Hochstetler, Koinonia Farm, Americus.
Participants entered at the local school level with drawings and paintings of native Georgia plants and animals in line with the 2021 contest theme, “Nature is Everywhere!” Entries were judged on aspects such as theme, originality and the quality and impact of the artwork. First place school-level entries proceeded to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden, part of the University of Georgia in Athens.
Winning submissions are showcased on the DNR Wildlife Resources Division’s SmugMug site at https://bit.ly/3bZP69f, as well as in a two-minute video produced by the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (https://kaltura.uga.edu/media/t/1_t96eup8e).
The State Botanical Garden is home to a range of collections, displays, trails and programs designed to delight and educate teachers, children and the public. The Garden also administers the Connect to Protect program, which emphasizes that even small native-plant installations can help maintain biodiversity in urban and suburban landscapes. Learn more at botgarden.uga.edu or call (706) 542-1244. This public garden is a gift to visitors and Georgia residents; therefore, parking and admission are free.
The Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is sponsored by the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, the State Botanical Garden and The Environmental Resources Network, or TERN, friends group of DNR’s Wildlife Conservation Section. For more information, visit georgiawildlife.com/PosterContest.
Georgians can support important conservation, recreation and education efforts as well as other programs for Georgia’s nongame wildlife by purchasing or renewing a bald eagle or monarch butterfly license plate or donating directly to the Wildlife Conservation Section. This agency depends largely on fundraisers for its mission to conserve wildlife, native plants and natural habitats. Learn more at georgiawildlife.com/licenseplates and georgiawildlife.com/donations.