Jodi Rave: Young artists, waterfowl flock to refuge
"Three tundra swans flew above the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge while about 100 students and their parents looked up, tilting faces toward the sky to watch the white birds soar Saturday morning.

Bob Danley pointed out the birds, then thanked the young people for participating in the refuge's duck stamp contest, an extension of an art and science program designed to teach kindergarten to high-school students about wetlands and habitat conservation.

“You kids are the future of America,” said Danley, the refuge's outdoor recreation planner. “We're just stewards of your public lands.”

The refuge organized the 2009 Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition, which drew nearly 200 art entries from across Montana.

Canada geese honked from a nearby pond and great blue herons perched atop ponderosa pine trees as Danley prepared to introduce the contest winners as part of the refuge's “Welcome Back Waterfowl Day.”

The refuge proved to be a popular weekend destination, drawing people to viewing trails and an auto tour. Each year, more than 150,000 people visit the refuge located about five miles north of Stevensville - where some 235 bird species seek shelter throughout the year."

Get the Story:
Waterfowl return to Metcalf: Wildlife refuge celebrates Junior Duck Stamp art (The Missoulian 4/5)

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