Burrell Flanagan's artwork depicting a safe, happy indoor cat took first place in the statewide 2004 Cats Indoors Poster Contest. He also placed third in the regional competition along with three other Washington Middle School students in Carol Jackson's class.
This is the second year in a row Jacksons class captured the top four regional placements in the contest. Out of 98 entries for the Northeast region of the state, her students clearly came out on top in the 10-12 year old age category.
And the regional winners were Ellen Johnson, first; Amanda Nord, second; Burrell Flanagan, third; and Lyla Renn, fourth.
Ellen Johnson's first place regional entry.
Regional prizes included the Birds of Minnesota Field Guide, a regional bird checklist compiled by the Minnesota Ornithologists Union (MOU) and an Audubon plush bird that sings a realistic song (recorded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology). In addition, the Paul Bunyan Nature Center donated two t-shirts and two hats and Audubon Minnesota awarded each winner a small alarm clock with a bird on the clock face.
For state honors Burrell also won a pair of Nikon Action binoculars, a National Audubon Society daypack and a "Let's Go Birding!" issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.
Prior to commencing on the art project, Carol Jackson completed a unit on the need to keep cats indoors not only for their own safety but for the safety of wildlife as well.
Amanda Nord, second place.
Cats allowed to roam outdoors may be killed or maimed by dogs, cars, coyotes or other animals, pick up deer ticks and fleas that may carry diseases, ingest toxic pesticides, poisons and antifreeze, get caught in traps or become a meal for a hungry eagle or great horned owl.
Resident and migratory birds are nesting. Not only are these birds subject to being caught, injured or killed by cats, but their eggs and babies are also often crushed or mauled. Small mammals and reptiles are vulnerable to being preyed upon by cats too.
Burrell Flanagan's statewide winner.
Teacher Carol Jackson was given an Audubon bird wall clock donated by the St. Paul Audubon Society. As a sponsor of the contest, the DNR will recognize her efforts to educate students and the public about important natural resource issues by offering a classroom set subscription to Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.
The Volunteer introduces young readers to Minnesotas woods, waters, and wildlife. It offers lessons in science, art, social studies, language arts, math, and more. Free copies of the Volunteer for Carols entire class for the 2004?05 school year will be provided.
The winning posters will also be used to publicize the educational effort to encourage people to keep their cat indoors. Posters may appear in newspapers, on the DNR web site (www.dnr.state.mn.us) or other places where the message of keeping both cats and wildlife safe is warranted. Minnesota posters have been sent to the American Bird Conservancys Cats Indoors Campaign to compete nationally. Funding for the Cats Indoors! Minnesota Project, Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats is supported by the Nongame Wildlife Fund.
Lyla Renn took fourth.
For more information about keeping cats indoors or for tips on how to make your outdoor cat a happy indoor cat, contact the American Bird Conservancy in Washington, DC (202-452-1535 or www.abcbirds.org).
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