Open House Migrates to Spring as Campus Prepares for Fall Arrival of Waterfowl Art

Caption // Photo Credit: Created by Kelly Fike/USFWS

The National Conservation Training Center's popular annual open house on its Shepherdstown campus, when its Eastern Panhandle neighbors and friends are invited to a cornucopia of conservation activities, will move from October to April 2012.

The event, which yearly draws up to 2,000 visitors, will be held next year on April 21, to coincide with Earth Day weekend.

"October is a busy month in the Eastern Panhandle," says Jay Slack, director of NCTC. "By moving our open house to next April, we'll be aligning it with Earth Day while creating space for a new must-go-to event for the community: the 2011 duck stamp art contest."

The shift makes room this fall for one of the Fish and Wildlife Service's most prestigious events, and marks the first time the contest will be held in the state of West Virginia. The event will bring to Shepherdstown nearly 200 pieces of waterfowl art from artists around the country. Art will be available for public viewing beginning on Friday, October 28th when the judges begin to whittle down the number of potential winning pieces. Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and the judging is expected to conclude for the day at around 2 p.m.

A fun, family-friendly film called "Duck: A Duckumentary!" will be screened for the public in the auditorium on Friday at 7 p.m., and free popcorn will be handed out while it lasts.

On Saturday, October 29th, a free bird walk will be offered on campus beginning at 8 a.m. inside the Instructional West building, and the contest will begin at 10 a.m. in the auditorium. The winner, whose art will grace the 2012-2013 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or "Duck Stamp," will be announced around mid-day.

For this event, NCTC does have a limited number of rooms available for overnight guests on Friday and Saturday nights. To reserve a room, call NCTC Hotel Reservations at (304) 876-7900. Be sure to request a room that is part of the "DSC Event block."

For information about the Federal Duck Stamp Program and the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, go to: www.fws.gov/duckstamps.

 -- published --  October 3, 2011
 -- photo credit --  Created by Kelly Fike/USFWS

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