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OKC ZOO AND DR PEPPER HOST STATEWIDE STUDENT ART CONTEST

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, the state's premier destination for connecting people and our world's vanishing wildlife and wild places, and Dr Pepper, the top-selling beverage in the OKC Zoo, are partnering to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” with the 14th annual Dr Pepper Vending Machine Art Contest.

Each year, the OKC Zoo and Dr Pepper encourage Oklahoma’s students to creatively combine their love of art and nature while inspiring action on subjects ranging from animal conservation to recycling. This year’s contest theme, “Year of the Bird: Celebrate our World’s Winged Wonders,” highlights the importance of protecting our planet’s beloved birds and their habitats. National Geographic has declared 2018 to be the “Year of the Bird” to mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and announced a year-long campaign dedicated to raising awareness for birds. The campaign aims to remind people of the wonder and beauty of birds and the responsibility we all have for caring for our shared planet.

Through March 31, Oklahoma students in kindergarten through twelfth grade may submit their original designs based on the contest theme, “Year of the Bird: Celebrate our World’s Winged Wonders” visually expressing how they would help any and all birds and their natural habitats. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, meeting art specifications and relevance to the contest theme. Official entry forms are available online here. Students may enter through their school, home school, civic group (e.g. Scouts), or on their own. Entries become property of the Oklahoma City Zoo and must be postmarked by March 31, 2018. The winning designs will be unveiled during the Zoo’s Earth Day celebration, Party for the Planet, on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m.

Each of the contest’s two grand prize winners will receive a $300 gift card to a store at OKC Outlets and their design will become the cover of a Dr Pepper machine at the Zoo for an entire year to be admired by an estimated one million guests in 2018. Winners from all award categories will receive a certificate and have their designs on display at the OKC Zoo and OKC Outlets. All contest participants will also be entered in a drawing on or around April 11, 2018, to win $1,529 toward an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account. To enter the drawing to win the OCSP prize, students must submit a design on an official contest entry form. Students may submit more than one contest design but their name will only be entered once to win the OCSP prize.

The OKC Zoo is dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and wild places through local and global conservation partnerships, education, awareness and research. Through its partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, Zoo staff assist with annual surveys to monitor winter bird, bat and lesser prairie chicken populations in Oklahoma. This allows Zoo staff a great opportunity to have hands-on experience with the projects and to enjoy seeing native wildlife in many parts of the state.

To learn more about The Year of the Bird, led by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and more than 100 participating organizations, and how you can get involved visit www.birdyourworld.org.

Spread your creative wings and go wild for bird conservation with the Dr Pepper Vending Machine Art Contest! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.

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