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New Jersey Junior Duck Stamp 2016 Best of Show

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Best of Show for New Jersey “Wood Duck in Early Morning Fog”, by Ashley Yae. Conservation Message: “Wetland conservation is very important to me because wetlands provide many habitats to many different animals, including ducks.”

About the Artist

2016 Best of Show Artist, Ashley Yae

2016 Best of Show Artist, Ashley Yae

Ashley Yae lives in Old Tappan, New Jersey. She is 15 years old and studies art at One Art Studio in Norwood, NJ.

“I feel really happy and honored that my work was judged as Best of Show for New Jersey. When I first entered the competition I was very  scared …. However, knowing that this competition was about protecting our wild life and natural habitats, it really inspired me to do my best. I selected the Wood Duck because I found it to be interesting and extremely beautiful. Wood Ducks live near water – mostly in wooded swamps and freshwater marshes. Wood Ducks mostly feed on plants such as duckweed and water lily. They also feed on  insects, berries, seeds, acorns and even snails. I found the Wood Duck’s nesting habit was the most interesting fact about the species… they nest in tree cavities!

I was initially drawn to the species’ vibrant majestic colors and striking white stripes, but what really caught my attention was the wood duck’s flowing helmeted head and piercing bright-red eyes. I wanted my artwork to not only convey the beauty of the wood duck but also a sense of serenity and peacefulness of the early morning calm. I hope that my artwork, Wood Duck in Early Morning Fog, captures the mood that I was trying to achieve. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember and really started to focus on art in the eighth grade. I enjoy all different forms of art, but my favorite medium is acrylic paints because of how easy they are to use and the wide spectrum of colors.”

Currently a member of her high school’s Color Guard and Winter Guard, Ashley is also involved with the Art club, Chinese club, Hand in Hand club, and Teen N’ Tots club. Earlier this year she was on the costume crew for her school’s annual musical production. Her favorite sports are skiing and swimming. Ashley won a gold key, silver key and two honorable mentions for her submissions in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Award Competition and received a special recognition award from The Korea Times National Youth Art Competition in 2015. She would like to major in Art and is looking at the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons, School of the Art institute of Chicago and UCLA. “For now I am enjoying the new challenges and opportunities – such as this wonderful art competition. I feel that my various experiences will help me to broaden my educational and personal perspective. Thank you so much for selecting my artwork!”

NJ Best of Show from Previous Years

2016 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program

The Wetlands Institute is the official State of New Jersey site for Junior Duck Stamp entries and judging. Congratulations to all students who entered the 2016 New Jersey Junior Duck Stamp Competition. All of our entries were beautiful interpretations of waterfowl that the students studied and learned how to draw. This year there were 127 entries received from children all over New Jersey. Over the coming year an exhibit of the top thirty-six winning original works, including New Jersey’s Best of Show, will be sent on tour around New Jersey in a variety of venues, while a display of the artwork will be on permanent exhibit at The Wetlands Institute.

Interested in seeing this artwork for yourself but not able to visit The Wetlands Institute?  Consider visiting one of the exhibit locations on the 2016 tour schedule.

New Jersey’s 2016 Top 36 Winning Artists

Age Group I – Grade K to 3
First Place: David DellaRova, Iris Gao, Racheal Song
Second Place: Jeong-Yeon Cheon, Katherine Lee, Luke Krombholz
Third Place: Dante Duca, Joelle Kang, Juliette Rose

Age Group II – Grade 4 to 6
First Place: Diane Cho, Andrew Park, Maya Soares
Second Place: Jonathan Lee, Zion Lim, Brandon Liu
Third Place: Jessica Huang, Grace Schwenger, Angelina Wang

Age Group III – Grade 7 to 9
First Place Best of Show: Ashley Yae

First Place: Ashley Yae, Soomin Kim, Jennifer Lee
Second Place: Stacey Cho, Jiyoon Ha, Eunchae Hong
Third Place: Evonne Chiang, Amy Son, Adia Win

Age Group IV – Grade 10 to 12
First Place: Jessica Lee, Sungwon Yoon, Tiffany Guo
Second Place: Yao Bian, June Lee, Eric Martin
Third Place: Elisabeth DellaRova, Helen Gao, Dawon Seo

More Information about the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is an integrated science, art, and social studies curriculum developed to teach environmental science and habitat conservation.

A Junior Duck Stamp design is a “term paper” in which students use visual rather than verbal articulation to show what they have learned. Participants select a species of North American waterfowl, research the species and its habitat, then depict the waterfowl in an artistic medium.

K-12 students attending public, private, or home schools in the United States are eligible to enter; so long as they are U.S. citizens, resident aliens, or nationals.

First Place National Winner receives a $1,000 cash award and a free trip to participate in the First Day of Sale ceremony in Late June or Early July.

Entries are judged in 4 grade groups (K-3rd, 4th-6th, 7th-9th, and 10th -12th), with three first place, three second place, three third place, and sixteen honorable mention ribbons awarded. The state Best of Show is selected from the 12 first place winning designs and competes in the national competition in Washington, DC. All National and State winning designs are on display during the year and are returned to the students the following spring.

A free curriculum guide for educators, youth, non-formal educators, and homeschoolers can be downloaded at:

Be sure to check the US Fish & Wildlife Service Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program web site each year, to get up to date artwork requirements, permitted species, and National awards information.

Looking for a Junior Duck Stamp program for your group?  We offer two or four hour programs for your school, scout group, homeschool, art club or other youth group.  Complete program descriptions:  Junior Duck Stamp Program


The submission date for the 2017 New Jersey Junior Duck Stamp is February 15.

Looking for a unique holiday gift idea?  Consider giving duck stamps!

Click here to find out more!

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