2014 – Wild for Wilderness

Grand Prize

"Moose at Dawn"

by Christine Chang, Grade 4
Vancouver, WA

Most Artistic

"The Life of the Wild"

by Vickie Xiang, Grade 3
Parsippany, NJ

Most True to Theme

"Pronghorns in the Sky"

by Alex Lin, Grade 3
Camas, WA

Most Entertaining

"The Sneaky Raccoon"

by Michelle Chimborazo, Grade 4
Newark, NJ

Most Creative

"Frog Pond"

by Megan Hill, Grade 2
Ann Arbor, MI

Most Informative

"Wild Wonder"

by Saranya Gadwala, Grade 3
Chantilly, VA

Honorable Mentions

Rachel George (Grade 4 – Rye Brook, NY)

Cedric Huang (Grade 2 – Vancouver, WA)

Odelia Lu (Basking Ridge, NJ)

Ava Quarles (Grade 3 – Chantilly, VA)






Wild for Wilderness! 

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act 

2014 IGES Art Contest
For Grades 2-4
Entries Due: November 14, 2014,
Winning entries announced: Week of Dec. 1 (Updated)

Entry Form 


Let’s have a wild celebration!

 This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the law that protects nearly 110 million acres across America and the trees, animals, fish, and streams that thrive within those areas.

To celebrate this important milestone, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) invites young scientists and artists in grades 2-4 to learn about preserving wilderness by taking a walk in nature, observing it, and expressing what they see or feel through art. 

According to the National Park Service, “Designated wilderness is the highest level of conservation protection for federal lands.”  Although 44 states have federal land designated by Congress as wilderness areas within their boundaries, we can all learn about these important areas and by studying nature conservation close to home.


Suggestions to Get Started 

Whether in a city or rural area, this contest encourages students are to visit a neighborhood park, wildlife refuge, nature center, or an actual wilderness area with a teacher or parent.  During the visit, students should observe the surroundings, listen to the sounds, and think about what makes this place special or unique.  It may be insects buzzing, a beautiful tree, a colorful rock formation, a sparkling stream, or a bushy-tailed squirrel, fish swimming in a lake, or a butterfly floating through the air.  It may also be a place to run, enjoy a snack, or discover something new.

Students should then create colorful and creative art capturing what is special or interesting to them about nature and why we protect it.

For older students:

  • How would you describe ‘wilderness’?
  • Research the Wilderness Act and your state
  • How would your state be different without the Wilderness Act?
  • Visit a wilderness area with a parent or teacher and observe what you find.  Some questions to think about in creating your artwork:
    • What do you see that you find interesting?  Use this to focus what you draw.
    • What are some of the different plants or animals and other things that can you find? How would you describe these? What did you notice that is similar?  What is different?



 For Students:

  • Wild Places – Explore some of America’s amazing wild places on this website by the National Wildlife Federation.  
  • National Wildlife Federation: Ranger Rick Kids Page – Includes games, apps, activities, resources for educators, and more! 
  • Fish and Wildlife Refuges in Your State. 
  • Girls who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists, by Jeannine Atkins (Author), Paula Conner (Illustrator)

For the Teacher or Parent:

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Interactive Website. This could be a good starting point for educators to show their students – where the protected lands are, what are protected lands, etc.
  • A video explaining what the Wilderness Act is (for educators) is available at: http://wilderness.org/article/wilderness-act. The video includes background on why wilderness matters, which is a great topic for children too.
  • NSTA, Science and Children, A Walk in the Woods, by Cynthia Hoisington, Nancy Sableski, and Imelda DeCosta, October 2010.


2014 Judging and Awards


This year, judges will be looking for winners in the following categories:

  • Grand Prize Winner—This entry is determined to be the best all-around artwork reflecting the contest theme and subject.  This artwork will be presented on the IGES holiday card.
  • Most True to Theme—The entry that best captures the characteristics of a chosen wilderness area.
  • Most Entertaining or Creative—The entry presents a whimsical view of wilderness or illustrates the concept in a unique way. 
  • Most Artistic –The entry reflects the best artistic capability whether in composition, form, or technique. 
  • Most Informative–The entry best presents the concept of a wilderness in an explanatory way.



The winners from each of the above categories will be awarded with:

  • Artwork featured on the IGES website
  • Color certificates and certificate holder
  • Visa gift card: $100

Honorable Mentions

  • Color certificates

Certificates of Participation

  • Certificates of participation will be available online as PDF files for teachers or parents to personalize, download, and print.  IGES will email teachers and parents the URL and password for creating and downloading the certificates.

IGES will retain the original artwork, but will provide two color prints: one for the student, and one for their school (if applicable).  Winning artwork and honorable mentions may be used in IGES promotional products, including, but not limited to calendars, notecards, and e-cards.


Return of Artwork

IGES will ONLY return artwork for non-winning entries if return packaging and postage are included with the submission.  Those entries will be returned and postmarked by February 3, 2015. 



  • One entry per person: MUST be your original work (not a copy of published art/illustration). 
  • Should be creative, bold, and colorful.  Use pen, pencil, crayon, pastels, marking pens, and/or paint.
  • Artwork MUST be on white stock and not exceed 16”x20”. Artwork MUST NOT include a mat.
  • Sign your artwork in the lower right corner.
  • Provide a title on the entry form that describes the artwork. DO NOT put a title directly on the artwork. DO NOT use the contest title as your title.
  • Tape or paperclip a completed entry form to the back of the artwork.  DO NOT staple the form to your artwork.


Contest Rules

  • The contest is sponsored annually by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). This contest is limited to U.S. students grades 2-4.
  • Entries must be received by IGES no later than November 14, 2014.  Artwork will be judged by a panel including artists, scientists, and IGES staff members. All artwork submitted becomes the property of IGES.
  • Verification of winning artists’ grade level will be required.
  • Contest results will be posted on the IGES website by November 24, 2014.