Joslyn Unger’s winning submission to the 2023 Alaska Fish Heritage Award, part of the Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest. (Courtesy U.S. Forest Service)

Joslyn Unger’s winning submission to the 2023 Alaska Fish Heritage Award, part of the Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest. (Courtesy U.S. Forest Service)

Neighbors briefs

Alaska Fish Heritage Contest seeking entries from young artists

Alaska Fish Heritage Contest is in full swing with a challenge to Alaska students in grades K-12 (ages 5-18) to submit original artwork by Feb. 28.

The Alaska Fish Heritage contest is part of the award-winning Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest. Wildlife Forever with support from Bass Pro Shops, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, fosters interest in fish and aquatic conservation. Young Alaska artists are encouraged to compete by sending in original artwork showing the unique ways people of Alaska interact with the fish.

Participants in grades 4-12 must also send a short, written essay, story or poem highlighting cultural, recreational, or economic connections to commercial, sport or subsistence fishing. The essay part is only needed for grades 4-12. Visit for more details.

Educators nationwide can utilize Fish On!, a State Fish Art lesson plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art.

Students from Alaska should send their Alaska Fish Heritage entry with the following:

– Original artwork featuring a sockeye salmon.

– One-page essay about the importance of sockeye salmon (grades 4-12 only).

– Alaska Fish Heritage Contest Entry Form.

Completed entries must be uploaded through the entry form on the website at no later than Feb. 28. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded in the spring.

2024 First Lady Volunteer Awards nomination period now open

Alaska First Lady Rose Dunleavy today opened the nomination period for the 2024 First Lady’s Volunteer Awards. The annual awards, started in 1975 by First Lady Bella Hammond, recognize and pay tribute to exceptional volunteers who have made an extraordinary contribution within our communities and state. The 2024 nomination period is from Feb. 8 to March 7.

“It’s a privilege to celebrate the dedication of diligent volunteers whose contributions often go unnoticed,” said First Lady Rose Dunleavy. “Through the First Lady Volunteer Awards, we simultaneously recognize the remarkable efforts of individuals while also celebrating the Spirit of Alaska. Thank you to the panel of judges for generously dedicating your time. I can’t wait to learn more about the nominees and share their stories once the award recipients are announced.”

Nominations can be submitted online at or by submitting paper applications that are available to pick up in person at the Governor’s offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Soldotna, Fairbanks and Palmer.

The First Lady’s Volunteer Awards ceremony and luncheon will be tentatively held at the Governor’s Residence in Juneau this spring.

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