I have been coordinating the Student Bird Art Contest for Godwit Days during all of its 14 years. Each year, I am amazed by the talent displayed by Humboldt County school children, from kindergarten through high school. While 2017 didn’t reach the high water mark of entries experienced last year (not a bad thing, as we filled nearly all available display space in 2016 at the Arcata Community Center!), we still received over 800 entries from nearly 30 schools.

An intrepid group of judges (Louise Bacon-Ogden, Gary Bloomfield, Sara Starr, and Lauren Lester) joined me to evaluate the booty. We spread out stacks sorted by grade onto tables at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center and spent about an hour and a half winnowing the groups down to first, second, and third places, plus a boatload of honorable mentions.

While I recognized a few of the names as being winners in previous years, most of the awardees are new. I look forward to emceeing the awards ceremony on Saturday, April 22, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Arcata Community Center. While some kids are a bit shy about coming up on stage to accept their awards, everyone shares big smiles during the group photos taken by Jay Seeger.

Thanks to Friends of the Arcata Marsh and Redwood Region Audubon Society for underwriting this event each year. It is an effective way to involve children in Godwit Days. Many teachers incorporate scientific information about the species being drawn into the kids’ artistic experience.

Every entry is posted in the Community Center lobby and hallways during the festival core of Friday through Sunday. (Want to help pushpin them to the walls starting at 1 pm on Friday, April 21? Email me at sueleskiw1@gmail.com.) Winners will also be on display at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center during May and June and be featured in the cosponsors’ newsletters and on their websites.

Sue Leskiw

See more at our Activities for Children Pages