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Posts Tagged ‘species on the edge art & essay contest’

2017 SPECIES ON THE EDGE ART & ESSAY CONTEST AWARD CEREMONY

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Fifth graders from across New Jersey recognized for their talent and conservation advocacy

On Thursday, June 1, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and sponsors PSEG, New Jersey Education Association, Church & Dwight, GAF, and ShopRite celebrated and recognized the winners of the 2017 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest at the NJEA building in Trenton, New Jersey.

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Gov. Kean, Biologists Enliven Premiere for James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibit at D&R Greenway Land Trust

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
Over 200 attend kickoff for three-year art exhibit scheduled for venues across New Jersey and New York

This weekend the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation attracted over 200 art and wildlife enthusiasts to the premiere showing of their Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition at D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton.

More than 200 supporters, including Governor Tom Kean (and four of our Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest winners), attended our Opening Reception for the premiere exhibition of Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition at D&R Greenway Land Trust on September 30th.

More than 200 supporters, including Governor Tom Kean (and four of our Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest winners), attended our Opening Reception for the premiere exhibition of Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition at D&R Greenway Land Trust on September 30th.

Former Gov. Tom Kean headlined the program, along with the nationally recognized artist Mr. Fiorentino, Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) executive director David Wheeler, and D&R Greenway president & CEO Linda Mead. CWF field biologists were also present to discuss their innovative work protecting and restoring the region’s vulnerable wildlife species, many species of which were featured in Mr. Fiorentino’s paintings, as well as a live peregrine falcon, the fastest animal on earth, displayed by Mercer County Wildlife.

The event also honored several 5th-grade winners of the statewide Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest, who were congratulated by the former Governor and Mr. Fiorentino before a cheering audience to conclude the program.

Crowd gathered at the art opening reception at D&R Greenway.

Crowd gathered at the art opening reception at D&R Greenway.

Mr. Fiorentino has painted 25 stunning watercolor images of at-risk wildlife species from New Jersey for this exhibition, from the bobcat and bald eagle to the Pine Barrens tree frog and little brown bat. The exhibition will travel around New Jersey and the Northeast over the next three years.

At 15, Mr. Fiorentino became the youngest artist to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame with paintings of baseball legends like Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ted Williams; his sports art has since graced national magazines and landed him in interviews with ABC World News Tonight and countless other news studios. Now 39, Fiorentino’s Conserve Wildlife Foundation exhibit is being hosted at D&R Greenway through October 14.

“Renowned as one of the best sports artists in the country, Jim’s works hang in major museums,” says Governor Kean, who met the artist while serving as president of Drew University—Fiorentino was a student there in the 1990s, when his sports figures started receiving national attention. He was featured on ABC World News and in The New York Times. “In recent years he has turned to wildlife. Jim has created an amazing body of work… Many of the creatures he paints are endangered, and Jim celebrates their uniqueness and beauty.”

Fiorentino’s realistic paintings depict some of the state’s most endangered and vulnerable species. Among other venues, the exhibition will be shown at Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue in New York next spring.

“Mr. Fiorentino’s incredibly evocative artwork inspires viewers by reconnecting them with the natural world all around us,” says Conserve Wildlife Foundation executive director and wildlife author David Wheeler. “His watercolor paintings help to educate and engage viewers about the precipitous declines that many of these vulnerable wildlife species have suffered, and helps us bring attention to the very tangible steps that people can take to save these species.”

Gov. Kean and Wheeler wrote the foreword and introduction, respectively, for the art exhibition hardcover book accompanying the exhibition. Through October, sales of the original paintings, limited edition digital prints, the exhibition book, and wildlife merchandise will benefit Conserve Wildlife Foundation and D&R Greenway Land Trust.

“The subject of disappearing New Jersey wildlife speaks directly to the work that we do to protect habitats,” says D&R Greenway President & CEO Linda Mead. “As an admirer of James Fiorentino’s artistic talent, I am thrilled that we were selected as the premiere venue for this exhibition.”

Fiorentino started painting animals when he was 10, and he later became a trustee for the Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J.

“We rehabilitate 4,000 wild birds a year and release about half that number,” says Fiorentino. “These wild birds have had a tremendous influence on me. I enjoy getting close to birds of prey, and it brought me back to nature art.” Before going back to his studio to paint the details, Fiorentino sketches the animals up close, sometimes holding them, taking in their details.

His two young sons enjoy being in nature, the oldest son joining his father to draw wildlife, especially butterflies—proving that humans, too, benefit from having wildlife in their midst. “I am awed by what we see in our own backyard: the Eastern box turtle, great horned owl, pileated woodpeckers, foxes, hawks and butterflies,” says Fiorentino. “It’s an amazing backyard ecosystem.”

Eastern Box Turtle by James Fiorentino.

Eastern Box Turtle by James Fiorentino.

Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition is sponsored by Omni Distribution, LLC, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Merrill G. & Emita Hastings Foundation, Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, and Somerset Patriots.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been a long-time partner with D&R Greenway, exhibiting our Species on the Edge fifth-grade art and essay contest winners annually in D&R Greenway’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery. This year, the fifth graders art will be exhibited simultaneously with the Fiorentino exhibit.


For more information on James Fiorentino, please visit www.JamesFiorentino.com.
To learn more about CWF, please visit www.ConserveWildlifeNJ.org.


Digital photos from the event are available upon request, as are high-resolution images of the original Fiorentino artwork.

Fifth Graders from Across the State Honored for Art & Essays on New Jersey’s Rare Wildlife

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Winners honored at Awards Ceremony

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

2015 Species on the Edge Winners with representatives from CWF and PSEG.

2016 Species on the Edge Winners with representatives from CWF, Wakefern, PSEG and GAF.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey celebrated and recognized the winners of the 2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest, a statewide educational contest open to all fifth-graders. The 14th annual contest encourages students to become wildlife biologists through their research and artwork on the endangered and threatened wildlife species in New Jersey.

 

“These talented children poured their hearts into the Species on the Edge contest, creating vibrant artwork and passionate essays about these rare wildlife species,” said David Wheeler, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director. “We are inspired to help connect the next generation of New Jersey conservation leaders with the natural world around them. Their art and essays illustrate the wonders of nature – and reveal many of the challenges we must overcome to help vulnerable wildlife survive in our densely populated state.”

 

Students were asked to draw a picture of one of New Jersey’s over 80 endangered and threatened wildlife species and compose an essay about how the animal became endangered and what can be done to help protect it. The Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest encourages students to learn about local environmental issues, express their concerns for the world around them, think creatively about ways to improve it, and to consider how their actions impact the natural world.

 

This year’s ingenious group of winners was honored at an awards ceremony which was hosted at the New Jersey Education Association, in Trenton, New Jersey. The contest was sponsored by PSEG, NJEA, GAF, Atlantic City Electric, Church & Dwight and ShopRite.

 

The statewide contest drew over 2,000 entries from across the state. Since 2003, over 10,000 children from across New Jersey have entered the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest.

 

Learn More:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Winners of the 2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
2016 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Winners Represented on New Story Map

Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s 2016 Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest gave fifth grade students from across the state the opportunity to research an endangered species and submit a drawing and essay written from the animal’s perspective. Meant to support awareness of endangered species in students, the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest encourages fifth graders to think like wildlife biologists as they gather research and learn about pressing environmental issues. The results of this contest are the subject of our newest story map!

sote2016

This interactive map allows the user to click on icons to see participating schools, first and second winners from each county, and honorable mention entries. Scrolling through the text on the left side changes the content of the points on the map. A click on each map point brings up more information, like the number of classes from each school that submitted an entry. While scrolling through the list of winners, users can even click on the schools’ icons to bring up the students’ names, essays, and artwork.

The format of this story map is simple and easy to use, allowing for an interesting, interactive way to display the hard work of students across New Jersey.

Learn more:

First Trip to the Beach for Newark Students

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
50 Fifth Grade Students from Ann Street School in Newark Visit Island Beach State Park

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager 

Ann Street School students taking a "shellfie" on the beach.

Ann Street School students taking a “shellfie” on the beach.

Remember the awe and wonder of your first visit to the beach? For many fifth graders from Newark, they experienced just that feeling this summer thanks to Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and PSEG.

 

Through CWF’s WILDCHILD program, over 50 fifth grade students from Ann Street School in Newark spent a day at Island Beach State Park and learned more about nature and human impact on New Jersey’s wildlife and environment.

 

The Ann Street School students were thrilled at the sight of an active osprey nest, observed through a spotting scope, as CWF’s Habitat Program Manager and osprey expert Ben Wurst detailed the amazing ongoing recovery of New Jersey’s osprey population. The students also went on guided maritime forest hikes, toured the Island Beach State Park Nature Center, and connected their everyday actions to the larger environment.

 

“There is nothing quite as evocative and inspiring for a child as spending a day at the seashore, feeling the sand under your feet with the tangy fragrances of salt marsh and surf,” said David Wheeler, CWF Executive Director. “This connection with nature, and chance to experience the abundant wildlife of Island Beach — from red foxes to horseshoe crabs to black skimmers — can help our next generation of outdoor leaders become engaged with the natural world around us.”

 

Island Beach State Park interpretive staff led enlightening programs on the beach, where many students collected shells and walked in the sand for the first time in their lives. Interpretive staff also took the Ann Street School students seining on Barnegat Bay, where they dragged a large seine net out into the bay. Students got to hold mud snails, minnows and hermit crabs, and microorganisms in learning firsthand about the marine life in Barnegat Bay.

 

“The visit to Island Beach State Park is a culminating experience for my students. They spend the year researching and learning more about wildlife for the Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest, and then the trip brings it all together. The trip is where they can see the different ecosystems and animals that we have talked about throughout the year,” stated Sharon Cardoso, Ann Street School Teacher. “The students look forward to WILDCHILD, it is an incentive for them and they are motivated to keep their grades up so they can attend.”

 

The WILDCHILD program is made possible by generous support from PSEG.

 

“The students involved in WILDCHILD traditionally do not have the opportunity to have access to green space. PSEG works with organizations like Conserve Wildlife Foundation to help engage children in environmental education,” said Russ Furnari, Manager, Environmental policy, PSEG. “Through the support of the PSEG Foundation, we work with Conserve Wildlife Foundation to help get kids out into nature to learn about endangered species and that teach them to protect nature and protect the environment.”

 

Learn more:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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