Statewide Winners Announced in Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest


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

Despite the shift to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, 538 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from seven public schools, private schools and homeschool groups took part in the 30th 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: Aviv Arellano, age 5, Suwanee Homeschool, Suwanee.
  • Second: John Long, 5, Sara Harp Minter Elementary, Fayetteville.
  • Third: Joslin Loden, 6, Jack P. Nix Elementary, Cleveland.

Division 2: First–Second Grades

  • First: Payton M. Delaney, 8, second grade, Camp Scene Environmental Adventures, Decatur.
  • Second: Lacey Beckman, 8, first grade, Jack P. Nix Elementary, Cleveland.
  • Third: Ozeio Norris, 8, second grade, Suwanee Homeschool, Suwanee.

Division 3: Third–Fourth Grades

  • First: Liam Pressley, 8, third grade, Suwanee Homeschool, Suwanee.
  • Second: Alfonzo Mitchell, 10, fourth grade, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville.
  • Third: Lucy Hicks, 9, fourth grade, St. Joseph Catholic School, Athens.

Division 4: Fifth Grade

  • First: Carter Shalosky, 11, Camp Scene Environmental Adventures, Decatur.
  • Second: Evie Pressley, 10, Suwanee Homeschool, Suwanee.
  • Third: Starla Poole, 11, Jack P. Nix Elementary, Cleveland.

Participants entered at the local school level with drawings and paintings of native Georgia plants and animals in line with the 2020 contest theme, “Georgia Bogs: Unique Wetlands for Rare Species.” Entries 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, part of the University of Georgia in Athens.

Winning submissions are showcased on the DNR Wildlife Resources Division’s SmugMug site at Plans to display the winning artwork at the State Botanical Garden were cancelled due to the closing of the Visitor Center and Conservatory amidst coronavirus concerns.

Although the State Botanical Garden buildings and Children’s Garden are temporarily closed, the grounds and trails are open on an adjusted schedule. Visitors can enjoy strolling through the beautiful native and horticultural varieties of trees, shrubs and flowering plants. Songbirds and pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds abound across both the manicured and wild landscapes. This public garden is a gift to Georgia residents and visitors; therefore, parking and admission are free. Learn more at or call (706) 542-1244.

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 the Wildlife Resources Division’s Wildlife Conservation Section. For more information, visit

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 and