From: Editor, ENN
Published November 30, 2010 10:29 PM

New Prize Announced in "Get to Know" Contest, Deadline Extended

“"Get to Know" contest for youth has extended its deadline until December 17th, 2010. There is also a new $500 cash prize for the young nature artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Calendar. Contest organizers are inviting all American youth age 5-18 to take advantage of these changes by getting outdoors and "getting to know" the amazing wild neighbors who share their ecosystems through art, writing, photography and video. 

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Biodiversity-themed art, writing and photography entries based on first-hand experiences with nature online at www.gettoknow.ca until December 17th, which brings the contest closing right into the festive season. All youth between the ages of 5 and 18 living in the United States are eligible to enter in these categories. Youth from all over the world are invited to help ring in the New Year — 2011 International Year of Forests — by creating short videos themed "This is my Forest" for the Get to Know Contest. The unique international video category will accept entries at www.gettoknow.ca until May 2011.

Get to Know Contest winners will get exciting prizes, including a week-long Art & Nature Camp experience at a Canadian national park for those 12 and older, and a $500 cash prize for the young artist whose work is chosen for the cover of the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar. Additionally, winning art and writing entries will be published in the 2012 Get to Know Contest Calendar, and winning videos will be showcased at United Nations International Year of Forests events.

More than just a creative arts competition, the contest aims to draw youth into nature, so the prizes are first of all an incentive for youth to take the first step out of doors. The Get to Know Contest is championed by renowned wildlife artists Robert Bateman and Wyland, who hope it will inspire youth to build meaningful connections with nature. "The investment we are making by connecting youth with nature is the most important one we can make for this generation," says Wyland.

Last year's winners and their parents are now joining Bateman and Wyland in encouraging more youth to enter the contest. Angela Nugent suggested the Get to Know Contest to her children Todd and Tiffany when one evening she saw them both surfing the internet, oblivious to the world outside. "I was looking at my kids just being connected electronically, and to see them come alive” was just amazing", says Angela. "Their interest [in nature] has not just peaked but flourished".
2009 writing winner Michelle Gutierrez, age 11, shares her "Get to Know" experience:

"I definitely spend more time outdoors now. I like to go hiking, I've been to the zoo to observe all the animals, and just recently I went to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific where I got to pet some friendly bat rays, and even had a brightly colored Lorikeet perch on my arm. The message I would give to my peers is, "Everyone should go outside in the fresh air and enjoy all the beautiful plants and animals. You're really missing out if you don't".

Photo is 2009 photography winner, "Hangin' Twenty" by Todd Nugent, age 13.

If you are between 5 and 19 years old, go outdoors today and get to know who shares our planet. Art, writing and photos by American youth, and videos by youth from any country in the world can be entered until December 17th at www.gettoknow.ca.

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