Conserve Wildlife Blog

Species on the Edge Contest Winners Celebrate at Awards Ceremony

September 14th, 2022

by Rachel McGovern

Species on the Edge Winners Show Off their Art During the Awards Ceremony

The annual Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest invites all fifth-grade students in New Jersey to choose a threatened or endangered animal species that lives in the state to celebrate with an essay and original art piece. We received thousands of submissions in 2022, but only one could be chosen from each county. The winners’ extraordinary artistic talent and thorough research secured their first-place positions.

An awards ceremony for those winners was held on August 23rd. The awards ceremony brought the winners, their loved ones, and teachers out for an afternoon at the Mercer County Wildlife Center. The ceremony took place outdoors near animal enclosures that hold non-releasable wildlife- some of the birds were even calling throughout the ceremony! Winners received their certificates and a gift bag to commemorate their achievements.

Earlier in the summer, winners of the contest were invited to enjoy a day at Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center- a historic island off the coast of Island Beach State Park in the Barnegat Bay. Winners explored the estuarine conservation zone by kayak and enjoyed fishing, clamming, and seining. Throughout the trips, attendees saw an abundance of wildlife, including osprey, crabs, sea stars, peregrine falcons and more!

These students will be entered into our “Circle of Winners,” a group of first-place winners from all past years of the Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest. This group will continue to have opportunities to learn about wildlife and participate in wildlife-related activities.

We are grateful to the Species on the Edge sponsors for making this program possible; PSEG Foundation, NJEA, Atlantic City Electric, Church and Dwight, Pure Storage, Phillips 66, and the Zoological Society of New Jersey.

If you are interested in having your student(s) or child(ren) participate in the 2023 contest, please check our website for updated information in the coming weeks.

Winning art is always featured in a beautiful wall calendar. If you are interested in 2023 calendar featuring this years’ winners, please email

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One Response to “Species on the Edge Contest Winners Celebrate at Awards Ceremony”

  1. Barb McKee says:

    Wow! Such wonderful art work. As a retired art teacher of elementary school students, I really appreciate these talented students. How wonderful that they are learning valuable wildlife lessons at the same time! Kudos to all the winners!