Middle Schooler Wins Endangered Species Day Art Contest



For Immediate Release: May 13, 2022
Contact: Jeanne Dodds [email protected] (360) 321-1944
Leda Huta, [email protected], (202) 320-6467

U.S. Celebrating Endangered Species Day on May 20

California 14-Year-Old Wins Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

WASHINGTON, DC — In the runup to Endangered Species Day on May 20, the Endangered Species Coalition today proudly announced the winners of the 2022 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, including the grand prize winner, Ian D., a  California middle school student.

The contest was an integral part of the 17th annual national Endangered Species Day, which occurs this year on Friday, May 20th. The art contest engages school children in grades K-12 in expressing their appreciation for our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, and promotes national awareness of the importance of saving endangered species. The winning art entries can be viewed on the Endangered Species Coalition’s Flickr Gallery.

“I’m so glad I’ve been chosen as the winner,” said Ian D, the 2022 grand prize winner. “This year there are so many great works and I’m surprised I’ve been chosen! I created this because my art teacher suggested it to me and I chose the rusty patched bee because I believe bees are very important to the environment and nature around us.”

Contest winners were selected by a panel of eight artists, photographers and conservationists, including David Littschwager, a freelance photographer and regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine, as well as Susan Middletown, a photographer who has collaborated with Littschwager and whose own work has been published in four books, and Alice Tangerini, botanical illustrator for the Smithsonian Institution.

“Endangered Species Day celebrates our declared national responsibility to our children and their children to save our vanishing wildlife and plants,” stated Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, primary sponsor of Endangered Species Day. “Bald eagles, sea turtles, wolves, and gray whales are just a fraction of the 1,600 species that the Endangered Species Act is saving every day.”

On Friday (and throughout May) wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, parks, botanic gardens, schools, libraries, museums, and community groups will hold in-person and online events. Some highlights include:

  • A nationwide chalk art contest, hosted by the Endangered Species Coalition;
  • Colorado Endangered Species Week, a week of free educational events and fun advocacy opportunities to protect the plant and animal species at risk in Colorado, including a bat conservation hike, webinars, and an auction, hosted by Rocky Mountain Wild and other organizations;
  • A special online event for Girl Scouts with programming about endangered species from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • A discussion on Hawaii’s reef wildlife with film directors of The Dark Hobby, local conservation leaders, and the Director of Shark Stewards and the Earth Island Institute;
  • Pollinator garden plantings in states across the U.S. to create habitat for native bees, butterflies, and other pollinator species.

These and other events are listed on the Endangered Species Day website.

Endangered Species Day was first created by the U.S. Senate in 2006, when it unanimously designated May 11, 2006 as the first ever “Endangered Species Day,” to encourage “the people of the United States to become educated about, and aware of, threats to species, success stories in species recovery, and the opportunity to promote species conservation worldwide.” Across the country, organizations hold special events to celebrate Endangered Species Day each year on or around the third Friday in May. For more information about the annual art contest, winners and Endangered Species Day, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

In 2009 the Coalition began incorporating a national youth art contest into the Endangered Species Day event. Each year, nearly two thousand students of all ages submit illustrations of their favorite endangered species to contest judges. The top winners in each age group are selected for the publication in the annual Endangered Species Art calendar, and the grand prize winner receives a special award.

The 2022 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest winners are:

  • Grand Prize: Ian D., [age 14], Tustin, CA
  • First Place: Lucas P. [age 5], Chandler, AZ

Grade Category Winners:

  • Grades K-2: Marcus L. [age 8], Clarksburg, MD
  • Grades 3-5: Celine M. [age 10], Cary, NC
  • Grades 6-8: Rachel Z. [age 13], Wayland, MA
  • Grades 9-12: Lainie R. [age 16], Penngrove, CA

The grand prize winner, Ian D., will receive a $200 award for art materials, museum passes, an art lesson and funding for native plants to restore pollinator habitat via Endangered Species Coalition’s Pollinator Protectors campaign.

For more information about the annual art contest, winners and Endangered Species Day, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.


The Endangered Species Coalition is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stop the human-caused extinction of our nation’s at-risk species, to protect and restore their habitats, and to guide these fragile populations along the road to recovery.  The Endangered Species Coalition works to safeguard and strengthen the Endangered Species Act, a law that enables every citizen to act on behalf of threatened and endangered wildlife — animals, fish, plants, and insects — and the wild places they call home.



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