Eight Harwood Union Middle School seventh-grade students entered the 2018-2019 Junior Duck Stamp, which raises funds to educate and engage our nation’s youth in wildlife and wetlands conservation and outdoor recreation.

Students participating in the Group III category, including seventh through ninth grades, were Anlu Thamm, first place; Madison Kielich and David Rivera, second place; Erin Elwell and Emma Hans, honorable mention; and Lindsey Bigelow, Rachel Lepp and Kayden Williams also participated.

Anlu Thamm’s artwork of a mallard duck was one of 12 pieces of art that advanced into the Best of Show judging to compete for Vermont Best of Show. However, this year the Vermont Best of Show came from the Lyndon Institute. An acrylic painting of a male wood duck by an 18-year-old won the state competition. A gallery of entries can be viewed on Flickr in the 2018 Junior Duck Stamp Best of Show album.

Students annually participate in the Junior Duck Stamp program at school, at home, in after-school groups and at refuges, parks and nature centers. After learning about wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife conservation they express their learning through a drawing or painting of a duck, goose or swan.

The top piece of art in the nation – which is chosen at this annual competition – is featured on the Junior Duck Stamp, sales of which support educational programs and activities that nurture our next generation of sportsmen and women and conservationists.

Junior Duck Stamps can be purchased online through the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex and at some national wildlife refuges. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are used for awards and scholarships to individuals who submit winning designs in state or national competitions and for awards to schools and other participants to further education activities related to the conservation education goals of the program.