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Young artists and teachers, explore wildlife through the Junior Duck Stamp Program

Quack!! The deadline for this year’s Maine Junior Duck Stamp is coming right up, so teachers and young artists, make sure you have all your ducks . . . you know! 

Just what is the Maine Junior Duck Stamp? It’s the Maine component of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program, which Maine Audubon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinate. Maine students are invited to submit some creative, innovative, beautiful waterfowl art. The deadline is coming up—March 1—so be sure to review the information here, check out the curriculum information and register for these online programs

Check out the curriculum 
The Junior Duck Stamp Challenge is much more than an art contest! It’s a dynamic, multidisciplinary curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program encourages students to explore their natural world (both from the classroom and in the field), invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles, and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.

Teachers have access to four curriculum guides that help spark interest in wildlife and habitat conservation. Focused lessons and activities use science, art, math, and technology, and lend themselves to learning in a variety of forms, including remote, hybrid teaching and in-classroom instruction.

For example, in the Youth Guide, students will explore the question “What are Waterfowl?” through reading, games, drawing activities, photo ID charts, nature journaling exercises, and more. The Educator Guide gives teachers step by step unit plans full of “Explore” and “Investigate” activities, as well as tips on how to adapt to different ages and time constraints. There are also guides specifically designed for homeschool students and for use in non-formal education settings like nature centers, wildlife refuges, and youth groups. 

Online Programs and Resources
Project WILD and Federal Junior Duck Stamp are hosting two hour-long Drawing on Nature webinars on February 9 and 16. These sessions will focus on techniques for developing students’ knowledge and skills in observation, illustration, and nature journaling. (Bonus: During each of the two webinars, one participant in attendance will be randomly selected to win $100 worth of art supplies from Blick Art Materials.)

Feb. 9, 5-6 pm: 
Drawing on Nature: Sketching & Observation Skills – Part I (Elementary Educators)
Register here
This webinar will help elementary level educators integrate nature sketching into their curriculum or program. In this hands-on session, participants will practice illustrating objects from nature. Join the meeting with paper, pencils, an eraser and colored pencils. A set of watercolor paints is optional. Four-time winner of the Maine Duck Stamp and children’s author/illustrator Rebekah Lowell will lead the instruction. Rebekah, a surface designer with a passion for the natural world, has a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Children’s Literature and Illustration from Hollins University.

Feb. 16, 5 – 6 pm
Drawing on Nature: Sketching & Observation Skills – Part 2 (Middle & High School Level Educators)
Register here
Instruction will be provided by wildlife artist Rebekah Knight, winner of the 2006 Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest and a top finisher in the annual Duck Stamp contest for multiple years.

More online resources are also available on our website here: 

  • Kirstin Underwood, Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, provides background information on water fowl and their conservation message. View her Waterfowl & Wetlands presentation.
  • Wildlife artist and visiting school artist Michael Boardman talks about how to draw ducks, what to look for when choosing a subject, and more. Watch the video.
  • List of Eligible Species
  • Videos of Waterfowl (lists and links)

Contact Linda Woodard,, for more information

Above: Art by Seth McGuiness, 5, Sebago, first place winner (K-3 group) in last year’s program