PCM student places second at Iowa Junior Duck Stamp Contest

by Dylan Sanders

Freshman Blake VanDerKamp placed second in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The Iowa Junior Duck Stamp features students who have taken the time to learn about waterfowl and their habitat. They then create an image of their selected North American waterfowl species.

It is hosted by the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plays a big role in finding participants for the contest. Anyone from grades K-12 can enter. The Iowa Junior Duck Stamp is judged by a board of five experienced judges. The top 36 entries will be showcased around Iowa at many different sites throughout the year, including at the Newton Public Library.

The contest is split up between age groups. Kindergarteners through third graders are judged together. The same goes for fourth through sixth grade, then grades seven through nine and finally grades ten through twelve.

The contestants can portray any waterfowl that is native to North America. They must then do some research on the birds habitat to portly an accurate image of the waterfowl. Blake decided to draw a male wood duck: One of North America’s most beautiful waterfowl species.

“I decided to draw a male wood duck because of its colors. I think that it is the duck that I am best at drawing,” VanDerKamp said.

The utensils that he used were colored pencils on acrylic paper. Blake was the only PCM student to enter and place. He placed second in the age group of 13-15. The participants who placed were notified of it, but they haven’t had the award ceremony.