Twelve schoolchildren were announced Thursday as statewide winners in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.
About 1,100 kindergarten through fifth-grade students from 18 public, private, and homeschool groups took part in the 32nd 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: Christopher Christiansen, Cornerstone School, Cumming
- Second: Morgan Armstrong, Jack P. Nix Elementary, Cleveland
- Third: Kennedi Everette, Garrison School for the Arts, Savannah
Division 2: First-second grades
- First: Lydia Frey, Cornerstone School, Cumming
- Second: Amelie Schoeller, High Meadows School, Roswell
- Third: Ziyah Jones, Pleasantdale Elementary, Atlanta
Division 3: Third-fourth grades
- First: Jayden Mulamoottil, Barrow Elementary, Athens
- Second: Ava Sorrow, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville
- Third: Bela Jaruczk, homeschool, Snellville
Division 4: Fifth grade
- First: Saanvi Bajaj, Woodland Elementary Charter, Atlanta
- Second: Leilani Lyles, Fayetteville Elementary, Fayetteville
- Third: Elijah Murphy, 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 2021-22 contest theme “Nature’s Fascinating Engineers.” Entries were judged on aspects such as theme relevance, 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/3N5hI19.
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.