Conserve Wildlife Blog


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.

CWF Founder Linda Tesauro with Middlesex County winner Joanne Bennet

NJEA Executive Director Ed Richardson, CWF Executive Director David Wheeler, and CWF Education Director Stephanie D’Alessio welcomed over 200 students, family members, teachers, and school staff. Mercer County Wildlife Center provided two big brown bats for visitors to admire up close.


Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has created an ESRI Story Map to highlight the contest winners. The Story Map can be accessed here.

Kim Scarborough of PSEG presents award to Atlantic County winner Ethan Mitnick.



Every year this STEAM-based contest enables 5th grade students to advocate for an endangered or threatened species from New Jersey through a well-researched, creative essay and original art piece. Artwork and essays are submitted from across the state and assembled by county.

Mercer County winner Emma Phelan





Our panel of judges, including CWF Senior wildlife biologist Todd Pover, renowned artist James Fiorentino, Species On The Edge founder Linda Tesauro, and PSEG licensing project manager Claudia Rocca, had quite the challenge in admiring and assessing the over 2,500 submissions this year, in the 13th year of the contest.


First and second place winners were selected from each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The winners were presented with certificates during the awards ceremony. In addition to receiving a $50 gift card to ShopRite, each will be invited to a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take an ecotour of Sedge Island. Now members of the Circle of Winners Club, these students will be presented with many cool and exciting opportunities to continue to keep wildlife not only in New Jersey’s future, but theirs as well.



A Story Map is an interactive map which allows the user to click on icons to see participating schools, 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.


Congratulations to all winners! Thank you to all of our sponsors!






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