Students and teachers looking for a creative classroom project this fall will find the perfect blend fun and educational materials in the annual Conservation Writing and Art Contests, sponsored by Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts. This contest encourages Kentucky’s finest young writers and artists to create and submit short essays and artistic entries that promote best practices for wildlife conservation efforts across the state.
This year’s competition, featuring the 71st annual Writing Contest for grades 6-12 and the 41st annual Jim Claypool Conservation Art Contest for grades 1-5, focuses specifically on wildlife conservation. Students are challenged to examine the environment around them and promote efforts they and others can take to help preserve the wildlife that inhabits it. Participants are tasked to share their ideas through short essays and artwork, persuading their readers and viewers to take action toward wildlife conservation efforts.
In last year’s competition (focusing on soil conservation), students from 106 different counties submitted a total of 17,028 writing entries while creating an additional 47,356 art entries from 97 counties.
Contest resource materials – including a teacher’s guide and official entry form – are available as a downloadable PDF at kyfb.com/federation or conservation.ky.gov. Completed entries for the 2015 competition must be received at the student’s local conservation district office by December 1.
Discussing the benefits of wildlife preservation in Kentucky is something that can be enjoyed many years into the future, but this competition also rewards its participants now for the time and effort required to create their contest entries. Each county-level winner will receive a $25 check for his or her entry. Regional winners are awarded a $50 prize, and the overall state winners collect $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $50 for third place, each presented during a special event in February at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.
The annual Conservation Writing and Jim Claypool Art Contests are produced through the cooperative efforts of the Kentucky Division of Conservation, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, Division of Water, Energy and Environment Cabinet, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Division of Forestry, Department of Education, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.