MIO — The Huron-Manistee National Forests are now accepting entries for the 2020 Kirtland’s Warbler Young Artists Contest from students in grades K-8. The contest is a collaboration of the USDA Forest Service, Huron Pines AmeriCorps members, Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve, American Bird Conservancy and the Bahamas National Trust that is intended to teach children about the rare Kirtland’s warbler and its habitat.

Entries to the Young Artists Contest must be original and demonstrate an understanding of the Kirtland’s warbler or any other creatures that live in northern Michigan’s unique jack pine forests. Students from the Bahamas, where Kirtland’s warblers spend their winter, will also be participating in the contest this year.

All artwork submissions should be in color, horizontally-oriented, and completely fill one side of an 8½- by 11-inch sheet of white paper. Copyrighted cartoon characters such as Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl should not be used. Each submission must include the student’s full name, grade, school, and teacher on the back of the drawing. There should be no writing or text on the artwork side of the submission. Only one entry will be accepted per student.

A community panel of judges will review entries and notify contest winners before the end of the 2019-20 school year. Winners from each grade level will receive a special Kirtland’s warbler prize, and their artwork will be displayed at the 2020 Kirtland’s Warbler Festival in Roscommon on June 6. Artwork may be featured in a 2020-21 calendar produced through a partnership between Huron-Manistee National Forests and Eastern National Forests Interpretive Association.

Entries must be received by March 11. Contest entries may be delivered in person or mailed to: Mio Ranger Station, Attn: KW Artwork Contest, 107 McKinley Road, Mio, MI 48647.

Contest rules and information, including entry forms, can be found at the Huron-Manistee National Forests’ here. Artwork entries become the property of the USDA Forest Service and will not be returned.

For more information, call Kim Piccolo or Celeste LaFleur at 989-826-3252.