Wildlife Forever and Jay N. Darling Legacy Center Unveil Songbird Art Contest™

White Bear Lake, MN –  Wildlife Forever is proud to announce the Songbird Art Contest™ as the newest opportunity to connect the public to the outdoors using the Art of Conservation™. In partnership with the Jay N. Darling Legacy Center based in Des Moines, Iowa, this competition is inspired by the legacy of artist and conservationist Jay Norwood Darling, encouraging participants to learn about North American Songbird Species and inspiring the next generation of stewards.

Throughout history, North America has been home to a tremendous diversity of bird species. Since the 1960s, Songbird populations in North America have dropped 29 percent over historic averages. Three billion birds have been lost and many species of songbirds are at risk of becoming endangered. While one single factor cannot be attributed to these losses, the data is clear that public awareness and education about this critical issue is needed now, more than ever.

The Songbird Art Contest™ will focus on conservation education and will be open to all ages with a strong focus on youth engagement. Participants will be required to submit an original piece of artwork accompanied by an essay detailing the unique characteristics of their chosen bird species and conservation needs. Participants will have until November 30th of each year to submit their entry to the contest by mail to Wildlife Forever. Winners being announced on National Bird Day, January 5th. The Songbird Art Contest™ is looking for additional partners and sponsors to kick off the contest, opening on May 1st, 2021.

Sam Koltinsky, Director of Legacy Development at the Jay N. Darling Legacy Center remarked, “The Songbird Art Contest™ will steward Darling’s legacy by connecting young people with nature through the arts. Building stewardship through conservation education will empower future generations to ensure the legacy of wise use of our natural resources.”

“The Art of Conservation has been one of the greatest models to transform public awareness of natural resources around the world. Educating the public on how to help recover North America’s songbird population with the Songbird Art Contest™ will create lasting benefits, ensuring the future conservation of songbirds,” said Pat Conzemius, President and CEO of Wildlife Forever.

For more information about the Songbird Art Contest visit: SongbirdArtContest.org

To learn about how you can support the Songbird Art Contest, contact Julia Luger at [email protected]

About Songbird Art Contest: The Art of Conservation® Songbird Art Contest™ is a new art competition created in partnership with the Jay N. Darling Legacy Center, focused on sharing the wonder and species diversity of North American songbirds. To enter, artists create an original illustration of any North American Songbird Species and written words detailing its habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are judged in five age levels: Kindergarten-3rd grade, 4th-6th grade, 7th-9th grade, 10th-12th grade and adults 18 years and older. The Songbird Art Contest will kick off May 1st, 2021. Learn more at SongbirdArtContest.org

About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Recent audits reveal that 94% of every dollar supports our award-winning conservation programs. Please, Join Today and learn more about the Fish Art Contest™, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ and Prairie City USA® at  www.WildlifeForever.org.

About Jay N. Darling Legacy Center: The Jay N. Darling Legacy Center, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is a non-profit friends group to support, enhance and champion Jay N. Darling’s legacy and the Darling Institute at Drake University. Jay Norwood Darling (1876-1962), was a 20th century two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, a journalist, an artist, a conservation activist and an advocate of sport hunting and fishing.  Darling spent his life promoting the wise use of our natural resources and pursuing concrete actions to keep these values vibrant and alive. Darling left an extraordinary footprint across our nation’s landscape that inspires the work of the Jay N. Darling Legacy Center. Learn more at www.jayndarlinglegacycenter.org/

Contact: Julia Luger [email protected]