The Nature Conservancy will choose the winner of its Prairie Photo Contest at the Bloomington Art Center on Thursday, October 16, from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. The judging comes on the eve of the 2008 Federal Duck Stamp Contest and is open to the public.
The Bloomington Art Center is located at 1800 West Old Shakopee Rd. in Bloomington, Minn. The final judging will be in the Black Box Theater. Cash prizes will be awarded, with a top prize of $250. The top ten photographs will be displayed at the Center and at other renowned local galleries.
The Prairie Photo Contest was organized by The Nature Conservancy to help celebrate the 2008 Federal Duck Stamp Contest, which—for the first time—will be held in Minnesota October 17-18, also at the Bloomington Art Center. Entries in the Duck Stamp Contest will be on display in the lobby of the Art Center October 10-18.
The Federal Duck Stamp Contest is the most prestigious wildlife art event in the world, and draws many thousands of artists and spectators each year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency that administers the stamp, has assembled a calendar of events to complement the contest. Many conservation partners are sponsoring related events. For more information, check the Duck Stamp website.
The Duck Stamp is of particular interest to the Conservancy because it funds much of the conservation work in the prairies and wetlands of North Dakota and South Dakota. More than a half-million acres have been protected as a result of this funding.
Grasslands are among the most imperiled habitat type in the world, and the Midwest and the Great Plains are no exception. North Dakota and South Dakota have lost about half their original grasslands, and only 1 percent survives in Minnesota.
Despite the loss of native prairie, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota still hold large prairie remnants within the Agassiz Beach Ridges, Tallgrass Aspen Parkland, Missouri Coteau and Prairie Coteau landscapes. The Conservancy sought spectacular and inspiring landscape and wildlife photographs of these areas and other prairies within each state to help call attention to them so they can be conserved.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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