Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wildlife For Everyone: Winners Announced In Tom Ridge Wetlands Photo Contest

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation welcomed students from across Central Pennsylvania to "Explore, Discover & Understand Wetlands Through the Lens of a Camera" on April 27 at The Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands in Centre County.
Students received experience using the latest technology to capture the natural beauty of the wetlands and its inhabitants. Generous donations from Big Froggy 101, Best Buy, Penn's Cave & Wildlife Park and Dairy Queen Grill & Chill offset the cost of prizes and entertainment for participants.
After an educational briefing on the history of the wetlands and on the site's features, teams of students explored the preserve, snapping photographs of wildlife and habitat. Teams then proceeded to upload pictures onto tablets, creating short presentations featuring their best photos. These presentations were judged by a panel based on quality and creativity.
The award winners were--
-- Group A: First Place - Dan & Matt; Second Place - Lexis & Allison; Third Place - Marina & Matt
-- Group B: First Place - Ammati & Taylor; Second Place - Jacob & Aidan; Third Place - Aleah & Tiara
Winning presentations are available online at and through social media.
The Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve is comprised of over 135 acres, located along Route 220 between Julian and Martha Furnace in Centre County.
The site includes about 55 acres of wetlands created by The WHM Group (based in State College with offices in Harrisburg, Delaware Valley and Western Pennsylvania); 15 acres of upland woodland; a quarter-mile of frontage on Bald Eagle Creek, which is a multi-use recreational stream stocked with trout; about 1.5 miles of trails along the wetlands; off-street parking; and 35-40 acres that could be developed by WFEEF in the future.
"We were overwhelmed with the amount of quality entries we received," said WFEEF Administrative Assistant Peg Hosterman. "We'd also like to thank the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Big Brothers Big Sisters and our volunteers from Best Buy for participating."
The event's inception coincided with WFEEF receiving the Best Buy 2013 community grant. The grant's focus was to aid teenagers in building and improving 21st Century technology skills.
Working with area stores Best Buy Mobile (#2811 - Nittany Mall) and Best Buy State College (#369 - North Atherton Street), WFEEF received $6,880.04 from Best Buy to purchase cameras, tablets, a printer and other related items. Best Buy contributed volunteers to this year's event as well. The WHM Group and Wildlife Leadership Academy also had information display booths at the wetlands.
"I have always had a passion for wildlife in Pennsylvania," said WFEEF Executive Director Vern Ross. "I hope this event helps develop a similar passion within a new generation."
For more information, visit the Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation website.

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