Peoples Way Wildlife Crossings - Montana

Safe Passages for Wildlife Art Contest

The People's Way Partnership conducted the Safe Passages for Wildlife poster contest to teach school-age children about the importance of wildlife crossing structures under and over highways for both human and wildlife safety. With this poster contest, People's Way partners Whisper Camel-Means and Kylie Paul gave presentations to over 950 students from kindegarten to high schools in communities reaching from Missoula to Polson. Students learned that over 12,000 wildlife crossing events in the structures have been recorded by researchers by over 20 species in 2010.

Of those 950 students, 340 submitted poster entries in numerous age groups and categories: 2nd through 3rd grade, 4th through 8th grade (split into 2 regions due to high numbers of entrants), and high school. These poster entries were judged by: Kevin McLaury, Federal Highway Administration; Glen Cameron, Montana Department of Transportation; Marcel Huijser, Western Transportation Institute; Scott Jackson, Northern Region U.S. Forest Service; and Rich Janssen, CSKT Natural Resource Department Head. The judges had the following thoughts after judging the art contest:

  • Rich Janssen - “Wow, I would have never dreamed that school kids would have this opportunity to express themselves on the highway project.  Growing up in Ronan, this road project is more beneficial than not.”
  • Kevin McLaury - “I am proud of the student that took part in the poster contest.  It is a great learning opportunity for them and allows them to express their understanding of how a highway and wildlife can interact in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner.  Congratulations to all the winners!”
  • Marcel Huijser - “While most adults focus on human safety, children are more focused on the natural environment and emphasize that animals have a right to live too.”
  • Glen Cameron -"Excellent involvement by the students.”
  • Scott Jackson - “I am always amazed at the ability of children to absorb information and to articulate their thoughts.  The efforts displayed in these posters are a source of hope for the future of conservation and wildlife/habitat connectivity.“

Winners were selected of those posters that depicted wildlife, wildlife crossing structures, and/or a road.

To celebrate this poster contest and to present them to the public, the People's Way Partnership held an art gallery event at First Friday in Missoula, MT on February 3rd, 2012. The Noteworthy Paper and Press graciously hosted the event in their beautiful store. Many people attended the festivities and enjoyed the opportunity to view award winners and to vote for the People's Choice Poster on their favorite poster that had not yet won a prize in the other categories.

Please see media coverage received:

Poster contest highlights animal crossings – Char-Koosta News – February 9, 2012

CSKT student poster contest highlights wildlife - KPAX Channel 8, Missoula - February 19, 2012

Award Winners

High School:

1st: Kristin Shelley, Big Sky High School, Missoula

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2nd: Shannon Rohrlach, Big Sky High School, Missoula

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3rd: Rochelle Wegener, Hellgate High School, Missoula

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Fourth - Eighth Grade (North Region)

1st: Michael Corrigan, Polson Middle School, Polson

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2nd: Cheyenne O'Connor, Polson Middle School, Polson

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3rd: Stormie Cenicola, Polson Middle School, Polson

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Fourth-Eight Grade (South Region)

1st: Persephone Sandoval, Ronan Middle School, Ronan

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2nd: Bryeanna Brazil, Arlee Middle School, Arlee

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3rd: Bryndle Goyins, Arlee Middle School, Arlee

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Second - Third Grade

1st: Ryan Dupuis, Linderman Elementary School, Polson

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2nd: Ella Anderson, Linderman Elementary School, Polson

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3rd: Aislinn Allred, Linderman Elementary School, Polson

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People's Choice

Selected from the rest of the posters displayed at the First Friday event in Missoula - included all ages, and voted on by visitors of the event

1st: Korrie Frisk, Ronan Middle School, Ronan

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2nd: Katherine Guy, Big Sky High School, Missoula

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3rd: Ghanima des Lions, Polson Middle School, Polson

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