SOCIAL CIRCLE — Teachers and students across Georgia are invited to celebrate Georgia’s wildlife diversity from the mountains to the sea by participating in the annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest. Whether walking through a cove forest in the mountains, canoeing down the Altamaha River or wandering Spanish-moss draped hammock forests on Sapelo Island, students can explore all the wildlife diversity Georgia’s natural habitats have to offer and illustrate their discoveries in the 21st annual conservation art contest.
This year’s competition theme, "Celebrating Georgia’s wildlife from the mountains to the sea," showcases the state’s native plant and animal diversity inhabiting each physiographic region, from the Appalachian Mountains in the Blue Ridge eco-region to the sandy beaches of the barrier islands eco-region. March 21 is the postmark deadline for entries in the state-level contest, which is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Environmental Resources Network.
The poster contest is open to all kindergarten through fifth-grade students in public schools, private schools and home-school groups.
Participants enter at the local school-level with drawings that depict their observations of Georgia’s native plants and animals. Top school-level entries proceed to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. First-, second- and third-place winners are chosen there for four divisions: kindergarten; first and second grade; third and fourth grade; and fifth grade.
The top 12 winners will be featured in the 2011-12 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest school-year calendar. All state-level contest winners also will be on display every weekend from April 8-23 at Georgia DNR’s Go Fish Education Center in Perry.
The Go Fish Education Center offers an educational journey through Georgia’s watersheds to learn about our diverse aquatic wildlife, their natural habitats and the impacts of water pollution. Visitors can see live fish exhibits, explore Georgia’s underwater habitats from mountain streams to black water swamps, test their fishing skills with interactive fishing and boating simulators, and view aquatic wildlife, including alligators. Visit www.gofisheducationcenter.com for directions, fees and operating hours.
The goal of this year’s Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest theme is to generate a greater knowledge and appreciation of the state’s diverse and increasingly threatened wildlife and their habitats.
Go to www.georgiawildlife.com (click "get involved" and the poster contest link) or www.uga.edu/botgarden for contest rules, entry forms and information about the 21st annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.