CDFW’s Invasive Species Program Announces Youth Poster Contest Winners

Poster art showing a cartoon-style man with invasive plants
First Place poster in the 6th-8th grade division. By Charin Park, age 13, of Saratoga.

The winners of the “Race to Protect Your Favorite Place” youth poster contest have been announced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Invasive Species Program.

As part of the California Invasive Species Action Week, 34 youths from across California submitted their original artwork. Participants were asked to create original posters depicting invasive species that threaten their favorite places and how they can take action to help protect that habitat. The top three posters for each grade division were selected by members of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee and the poster which best exemplified the contest theme was selected as the CDFW Invasive Species Program Choice Award.

Jack Carr Ritchie, 8, of Half Moon Bay, was named the winner of the Invasive Species Program Choice Award. His poster depicts his family, represented by a Viking, utilizing prescribed fire, mechanical removal and goat grazing to control bristly oxtongue (Picris echioides) in Half Moon Bay. “We want to get rid of bristly oxtongue because it takes over everywhere and its bristles can hurt people,” Carr Ritchie wrote when submitting his poster.

The top three winners of the 2014 Invasive Species Action Week youth poster contest divisions were:

Grades 2-5
First Place: Kailan Mao, 10, Borrego Springs; subject: Sahara mustard
Second Place: Mario Giannini, 10, Chico; subject: northern pike
Third Place: Ivy Sayre, 9, Chico; subject: yellow starthistle

Grades 6-8
First Place: Charin Park, 13, Saratoga; subject: biodiversity conservation
Second Place: Rayni Kirkman, 12, Whiskeytown; subject: zebra mussel
Third Place: Clara Shapiro, 11, Chico; subject: velvetleaf

Grades 9-12
First Place: Claire Kepple, 18, Quincy; subject: gold-spotted oak borer
Second Place: Trisha Tabbay, 15, Los Angeles; subject: hydrilla
Third Place: Albert Brumat, 16, Los Angeles; subject: guava fruit fly

CDFW’s Invasive Species Program staff congratulates all the participants for their excellent work, and thank the teachers, nature centers, volunteer organizations and parents who encouraged, educated and assisted the students.

All submissions have been on display in the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center in Gold River during Invasive Species Action Week, Aug. 2-Aug. 10. To view the winning entries online, please visit the youth poster contest webpage at

For more information or to obtain poster images, please contact the Invasive Species Program at

Media Contacts:
Martha Volkoff, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-8658
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958