For immediate release: March 8, 2023
If you live in Utah, chances are high you have had at least one wildlife encounter. From the bighorn sheep of Zion National Park to the countless shorebirds of the Great Salt Lake to the chickadee in your backyard. No matter how you encounter wildlife in our state, we want to hear about it. And the way you can share that experience can be as varied as the species we hope to hear about.
The Utah Wildlife Federation and mural artist Chris Peterson are holding the first Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest with 63 cash prizes for people ranging from 4 to 104. It is as simple as writing a story, taking a picture or making a video.
“There are a lot of ways to celebrate our experiences with wildlife. We want people from across the state to show us how the wild inhabitants of our state inspire you or your family,” said Chris Peterson, an artist working to get wildlife murals up in all 29 counties in Utah as part of the Utah Wildlife Walls Project. “Entries from this contest will become part of an exhibit that will go on tour across the state. It’s all meant to show how we connect with wildlife in Utah.”
More than $10,000 in cash prizes will handed out in the form of $250 awards for first-place and dozens more for the best submissions across three age groups: children, teens and adults. Submissions can include wildlife-related art, writing, photography, video, digital art, digital storytelling and music. Entries must be submitted by May 10, 2023 to be considered.
The Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest is made possible, in part, with funding from the Hansen
Sisters Foundation, and the Utah STEM Action Center. The digital art and digital storytelling categories are funded through a Community Impact grant from the Center.
Utah Wildlife Walls will be at the International Sportsmen’s Expo March 16-19 talking to people about their wildlife experiences, painting wildlife cutouts, and helping people submit to the contest. Harvey the Storybus will on hand Saturday and Sunday mornings for people to record their wildlife stories and create an entry for the contest. Visit www.CelebrateUtahWildlife.org for more information on the contest and Utah Wildlife Walls project.
“Utah’s wild creatures need to be celebrated for all the wonder, awe and smiles they bring to our faces,” said Brett Prettyman, chair of the Utah Wildlife Federation board. “We hope by seeing how others celebrate our wildlife that more people will be inspired to get out and create their own experiences."