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Three Students from Alabama Win 2003 State-Fish Art Contest

May 30, 2003

MONTGOMERY, AL and EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Wildlife Forever are pleased to announce the winners for the 2003 Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest. A distinguished panel of judges selected the following Alabama winners:

        Grades 4-6 Kalee Reid Morris, AL

        Grades 7-9 Megan Graves Hartselle, AL

        Grades 10-12 Chad Griffith Fairhope, AL

State winners for the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest will be recognized at the fifth annual State-Fish Art Expo at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota in June. A massive art display will feature all the winning artwork and an Award Ceremony on June 14 will acknowledge these talented young artists. Other scheduled events include celebrity autographs, fishing demonstrations, music, and fun activities for kids. This event is free and open to the public.

This year’s judging team included Kurt Beckstrom of North American Fisherman Magazine, Dan Gray of ConAgra Snack Foods Group, Scott Grieve of Big Island Publishing, Michelle Kelly of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s Minn-Aqua program, and Steve Light of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest encourages young artists nationwide to create an illustration of their state fish and a written composition on its behavior, habitat, or efforts to conserve it.  Entries are categorized by grade level: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Up to three winners from each state are selected and invited to Mall of America for the State-Fish Expo.

To use art as a “medium” for teaching conservation education, teachers across the country have received information on the contest and a full-color State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan, which is specific to aquatic natural resources and includes extensive background information, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a thorough glossary, and suggested quiz questions and student worksheets.

Wildlife Forever is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to preserving America’s heritage, with over 70,000 members nationwide. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on the ground” efforts. Wildlife Forever values and funds research, habitat restoration and enhancement, management, and land acquisition. However, according to Doug Grann, Wildlife Forever’s President & CEO, “We strongly believe conservation education will ultimately determine the future of our wildlife heritage. The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest is a fun, innovative way to introduce America’s youth to the wonders of the natural world.”

Sponsors for the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest include Mall of America, the North American Fishing Club, and Jiffy Pop, a product of ConAgra Snack Foods Group. Babe Winkelman is the Honorary Chairman.

To see the artwork for this year’s winners or for more information on the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, visit www.statefishart.com or call 1-877-FISH-ART, or visit the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries at www.dcnr.state.al.us/agfd or call 334-242-3471.

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