Attention schools and teachers, especially art and science teachers! And let’s not forget those creative students who enjoy the arts! It’s that time of year again when Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) partners with Creative Ideas for the annual “Wildlife of Arkansas” Student Art Contest.
The art competition is free to enter and open to any Arkansas student (incl. home, private, & public school) grades kindergarten – 12th grade. Last year’s contest saw double the number of individual entries from the previous year, over 600 pieces of art, and an increase in the number of public, private and home school participants. Though there is no entry fee, there are over $3,000 in prizes and cash awarded to each of the 52 winners, four per grade (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention).
The contest serves two purposes: Helping to keep the arts alive in our schools; Getting children to notice their native surroundings, be it wildlife or a scenic vista. The artwork varies from crayon and fingerpaints, pen and ink to acrylics, oils to multimedia. Last year’s Best of Show was a multimedia piece by Jimmie Battles (Cabot Junior High, North) for “Serenity,” a wonderful piece of art produced on wood which combined various wood carving and cutting techniques along with twine.
For the past three years the awards ceremony has been held in May at the AGFC Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center on the Riverfront in Little Rock. In addition, the museum allows AWF and Creative Ideas to display the winning art throughout the month of May during Riverfest, so approximately 10,000 people see the art. 2013 saw the art show go on tour to the other AGFC Nature Centers, more than doubling the total number of visitors that saw the gallery presentation. There are hopes to repeat the touring art show once more in 2014.
In addition, 2013 was the first year that a calendar had been produced featuring the winning art. All 52 winners were included in the December 2013 – December 2014 calendar with the proceeds going back into the art contest. Repeating the production of the calendar for 2015 is dependent upon how well the current calendar sells. Schools and other non-profits were given a discount rate to purchase calendars so that they could do their own fundraiser.
This year’s competition deadline is March 14, 2014. Contest rules and registration form can be found DOWNLOADED HERE, or found in the November/December 2013 issue of Arkansas Out-of-Doors. Questions? Contact Sharon Hacker, president of Creative Ideas.
(Please do not contact AWF or AGFC with questions. Please do not send your artwork to AWF or AGFC. Creative Ideas has a specific address for artist/schools to send their work.)
Volunteer Day Video Highlights – 2011
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation offers conservation education programs to civic clubs, churches, hunting and fishing clubs, Boy Scouts clubs, youth organizations, college clubs, local businesses and city agencies. Typically, these presentations are made by AWF board members and officers and staff. The Speakers Bureau is established to provide timely presentations and information on key environmental issues such as:
Call or email the AWF office at 501-224-9200.
The Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warmig approved final revisions to its report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state’s contributions to climate change.
The commission’s report recommends that Arkansas adopt goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels by 20 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2035.
By John Lyon
AWF is the largest and oldest wildlife conservation organization in Arkansas with over 4000+ members located throughout every county in Arkansas, as well as members from out-of-state that want to help conserve and protect our natural resources. AWF has had a long history of more than 75 years of service in promoting the interests, needs, and programs that benefit hunters, anglers and nature lovers throughout the state. AWF invites hunter and angler clubs and camps throughout Arkansas to become a member of the “Sportsmen Camo Coalition” within the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. Each Sportsmen Camo Coalition club will pay a $50 membership dues and have at least 10 members to join. Also, if you are in an area without a hunting or fishing club and wish to join the sportsmen camo coalition, you can join as an at-large member which is still only $5 annual membership dues.
Through the Sportsmen Camo Coalition, each member will receive the bi-monthly newspaper Arkansas Out-of-Doors which keeps members informed of key issues and programs impacting Arkansas wildlife and wildlife habitats. Additionally, each Camo Coalition Club and its members will receive special mailings and email alerts from AWF on legislative issues at the state and national levels that impact hunting and fishing practices.
AWF encourages local Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs to send in articles for the Arkansas Out-Of-Doors and to keep AWF informed of issues and needs of hunters and anglers throughout the state. These Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs become the eyes and ears of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in promoting, protecting, and enhancing wildlife and wildlife habitats, and the natural resources of Arkansas for present and future generations.
There will be an annual meeting of the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Clubs usually held each August during the AWF annual meeting that offers workshops, seminars, and sporting exhibits of interest to hunters, anglers and other outdoor sportsmen. AWF invites hunting and fishing clubs or camps to join the Sportsmen Camo Coalition Club of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in helping keep Arkansas as “The Natural State.”
A Conservation Competition Program Involving middle and high schools in Arkansas
Purpose: This important conservation competition program is designed to encourage and involve school children in elementary, middle and high schools to participate in developing conservation projects to improve and enhance the environment. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation with the assistance of the National Wildlife Federation, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Natural Resources, local colleges, universities, and local school officials throughout Arkansas will provide materials and guidelines to assist schools to select, prepare and submit their conservation projects. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation will seek corporate partners to assist the schools in providing seed funds to develop their projects and the cost for conducting this competition. Corporate partners will be invited to participate on the judging panels and be a part of the awards recognition program at the county, regional and state level as sponsors of this event. Awards and cash prizes will be given to 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place winners in all three school levels – middle and high schools. Also, schools who are not winners in these three awards categories will receive Honorable Mention recognition for their efforts to develop meaningful conservation projects for their community or county. The Arkansas Wildlife Federation and its partners strongly believe this conservation competition program will encourage students to consider academic studies and careers in environmental sciences. These conservation projects encourage students to become seriously involved in conservation and environmental projects that enhance our environment and “Give Mother Nature a Helping Hand.”
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is committed to establishing youth conservation clubs in all elementary, middle and high schools throughout the state. Jimmy Reynolds, a member of the AWF Board of Directors and chair of the Conservation Education and Information Committee, is a high school science teacher in Greenwood, Arkansas. Jimmy and Melissa Reynolds are working with the AWF state offices to encourage science teachers in elementary, middle and high schools statewide to begin establishing youth conservation clubs. Below are the requirements and expectations of each youth club.
Each youth conservation club must:
Here is what the Arkansas Wildlife Federation will do for each youth conservation club:
After they have secured 10 members or more and filed this list with the AWF office with the $5 per membership, AWF will immediately prepare and mail the following materials:
The Conservation Education and Information Committee and AWF staff are committed to establishing at least 200 youth conservation clubs throughout the state during 2008-2009. AWF is excited and committed to involve at least 1000 to 2000 students in Arkansas promoting and implementing positive conservation programs at the county, city and community levels. Sign up if you are interested in establishing a Youth Conservation Program at your middle, junior high, high school, college or university- at email@example.com to seek information and assistance.
You may download the PDF Application here.
First and foremost, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation believes conservation education is the key to good stewardship of our natural resources.
AWF strongly supports and participates in efforts that are designed to help both the youngster and the adult better understand the environment and issues that affect our natural resources. AWF single biggest conservation education tool is our publication, Arkansas Out-of-Doors. This newsprint tabloid is published 8-10 times per year and is distributed to our members and others interested in hunting, fishing, and conservation. It is estimated that 6,500 people read each issue.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation also sponsors seminars on a wide variety of topics, featuring experts in various fields. Some programs deal with issues such as forest management, wetlands or water quality while others may focus on hunting, fishing, or nature appreciation. These efforts are often undertaken in cooperation with other organizations or agencies, such as our seminars to help farmers better understand how to take advantage of the conservation provisions of the Farm Bill.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation, in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, annually conducts a Conservation Achievement Awards Program to honor citizens and organizations that have excelled in various natural resource related endeavors. Awards are given to outstanding efforts in conservation education, wildlife conservation and water conservation, to name just a few of the categories. This program heightens the environmental awareness of the public while honoring deserving Arkansans.
In cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation sponsors the National Wildlife Week each year in May and distributes prior to this week conservation education materials to all public schools in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation actively participates in public hearings before state and federal agencies regarding the protection and preservation of Arkansas important natural resources of clean air, water and the land to keep Arkansas the Natural State.
In conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Federation also presents special awards to Arkansans who excel in the Acres for Wildlife Program. This program is conducted by the Game and Fish Commission to better improve wildlife habitat on private property. The Awards Program sponsored by AWF is a tool to encourage more participation in Acres for Wildlife.
AWF often conducts a wildlife art contest that features Arkansas artists. The winning painting of an Arkansas critter is often printed and may be used as a membership recruitment tool. It also gives artists in the Natural State an opportunity to receive greater exposure and brings public awareness to the species painted.
AWF conducts education programs and presentations, at no charge, schools, civic clubs and other gatherings. These programs cover a wide range of conservation topics and outdoor recreational pursuits.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation often sponsors political candidate forums. The Federation is a nonpartisan organization that is prohibited from endorsing any candidates, but our organization sponsors these forums to give citizens a chance to ask those who are seeking office how they feel about various conservation and environmental issues.
AWF’s 105-acre Snyder Wetlands, located on the eastern border of North Little Rock, is available to schools that wish to study wetlands, water, forestry, wildlife or related topics. It is an undeveloped natural resource paradise that is easily accessible to any Central Arkansas School. AWF intends to build a new 14,850 square foot Wetland Nature Center and Administrative Offices on this site.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is committed to actively involving youth in conservation education. AWF has recently begun promoting Youth Affiliate Conservation Clubs in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Arkansas.