Children invited to enter Year of the Salamander art contest

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Friends of Sessions Woods, as part of the Year of the Salamander awareness campaign with Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), are sponsoring a salamander art contest for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. It is open to Connecticut residents only.

Children interested in entering the contest are asked to draw, paint or sketch a salamander species native to Connecticut. Entries will be judged in three age groups: K-1st grade, 2nd-3rd grade, and 4th-5th grade.

First, second, third, and “most creative prizes” will be awarded in each age group.

The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford has donated a Family Pass package for each first place winner. The Friends of Sessions Woods Paul Petersen Memorial Fund has donated various salamander-related prizes for all winning pieces of artwork. First place winners also will have their artwork published in the DEEP's bimonthly magazine, Connecticut Wildlife.

All of the artwork entered in the contest will be on display at the DEEP Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center, in Burlington, at a special “Salamander Day,” scheduled for Sunday, July 20, from 1:00-4:00 PM.

Award winners also will be announced to the public during “Salamander Day.” Educational programs on salamanders, live salamanders, and kid's crafts are all planned for “Salamander Day.” More information about the event will be on DEEP's Year of the Salamander webpage,, as it becomes available.

An entry form, art contest guidelines, and the list of native salamanders (with photographs) that can be illustrated are available on DEEP's Year of the Salamander webpage at

This information also can be obtained by contacting the DEEP Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods office at P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013; 860-675-8130 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM).

All entries must be postmarked by May 30.

The native salamanders that can be illustrated for this contest include the blue-spotted salamander, northern redback salamander, common mudpuppy, northern slimy salamander, four-toed salamander, northern spring salamander, Jefferson salamander, northern two-lined salamander, marbled salamander, red-spotted newt, northern dusky salamander, and spotted salamander.