Canadian Wildlife Federation rewards youth for celebrating Rivers to Oceans Week

OTTAWA, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation and Get to Know Program have joined together to encourage Canadian youth to get outdoors and connect with nature through the 2012 CWF Get to Know Contest. The contest, which was founded by renowned artist Robert Bateman over a decade ago, has also expanded into the United States this year.

The contest encourages young people to spend more time outdoors, connecting with nature, and learning about their neighbours of other species through the expressive arts, from painting and drawing to writing, photography, video, and music. The contest is intended to be a gateway experience for youth to connect with nature and develop a lasting interest in the outdoors and important environmental dates and opportunities.

In celebration of CWF's Rivers to Oceans Week—and to help raise awareness amongst youth about their "wild neighbours" of the water— Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Get to Know Program coordinated a special promotion inviting youth to submit entries featuring marine and freshwater species. Of the hundreds of entries received, one young Canadian winner was selected to win the grand prize, a whale watching trip for them and their family off the coast of Vancouver Island!

"We are delighted to announce the winner of this year's Rivers to Oceans contest, Alexandria Swartz, age 12, from Toronto for her work 'Mallard Duckling'", says Wade Luzney, CEO and Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Wildlife Federation. "We had so many amazing entries but Alexandria's painting truly captured the beauty and tranquility of the mallard duckling on the water."

When told she had won, Alexandria Swartz exclaimed, "I spend a lot of time outdoors and have a great love of nature, so this contest was perfect to share my painting. I feel so excited to have won and am so proud that my work will be seen in the calendar."

The CWF's Rivers to Oceans Week whale watching getaway prize includes airfare for four to Sidney, BC, two nights' accommodation in Sidney-by-the-Sea at The Pier Hotel, admission to the award winning Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, and an exciting whale-watching excursion with Sidney Whale Watching. Alexandria's winning work will also be featured in the 2013 CWF Get to Know Contest Calendar and in a future issue of CWF's WILD Magazine.

Entries to the CWF Get to Know Contest will be accepted online at GetToKnow.ca until July 23rd. Winners will receive an invitation to attend the week-long Art and Nature Camp hosted by Parks Canada at Point Pelee National Park, publication of their artwork in the nationally distributed CWF Get to Know Contest Calendar and CWF's Wild Magazine, and many other prizes from partners and sponsors.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.

About the Get to Know Program

For thirteen years, the Get to Know Program has connected hundreds of thousands of young people with nature by encouraging them to "get to know" their wild neighbours. The program provides youth with direct, hands-on learning opportunities through cutting-edge educational initiatives based on current research and developed in conjunction with leading educators. The Get to Know Program envisions a continent-wide shift in thinking, towards an understanding that conserving biodiversity is our shared responsibility. By encouraging young people to regard other species as important members of their community, we are working to restore the link between youth and the environment, and foster the next generation of passionate environmental stewards. Recent Get to Know initiatives include Virtual Hikes - interactive learning resources which introduce youth to local green spaces; Natural Treasure, a program which draws youth outside to local parks in search of hidden hieroglyphs; and the Get to Know BioBlitz. For more information visit GettoKnow.ca.

Image with caption: ""Mallard Duckling" by Alexandria Swartz, 12, Toronto, ON. (CNW Group/CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120709_C7084_PHOTO_EN_16120.jpg

SOURCE CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION

For further information:

Media Contact 
For information on the Get to Know Program:
Mary Krupa-Clark
(250) 980-3969 or mclark@gettoknow.ca

For information on the Canadian Wildlife Federation
Pam Logan
(613)222-1405 or pamelal@cwf-fcf.org

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