Fish Art Contest Recognizes Educators with new Richard Hart Award

WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN Wildlife Forever’s Fish Art Contest is proud to announce the new Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award. By teaching the Art of Conservation®, educators connect young people to the outdoors and help inspire the next generation of stewards.
Richard M. Hart was a successful businessman and family man who had a passion for fishing and conservation. Mr. Hart’s belief in youth education spilled over into the Fish Art Program as he worked extensively to promote the Texas division, hosted by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Connecting with schools and families from across the country, it was Mr. Hart’s belief that educators are the key to encourage and inspire youth conservation education.

Recognizing his contributions and legacy impact on the Fish Art Contest, the Richard M. Hart Educator of the Year Award shall be a National Award to honor one exemplary educator in 2021. This award shall recognize an educator who participates in the Fish Art Contest and actively strives to expose youth to nature and the joys of fishing.

The winning educator shall receive a gift card for $1,000 to use for supplies for their classroom and a $900 stipend to facilitate outdoor learning for their school. Educators can apply for this prestigious award or be nominated by their students, parents, or coworkers.

Nominate a deserving educator here:

“Mr. Hart believed fishing was art. He saw that when children used art to learn about fishing and the outdoors that the ripples of conservation could last a lifetime,” said President and CEO of Wildlife Forever, Pat Conzemius.

Zoe Ann Stinchcomb of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center said, “Mr. Hart knew the powerful influence of fishing in his life and realized how important his mentors were in that regard. He encouraged others to be fishing mentors as he was and recognized that the Fish Art Contest was an excellent way to reach kids that might be unfamiliar with fishing. His goal was always to get folks, especially kids, outside fishing. It makes perfect sense to honor teachers who are doing just that with the Richard M. Hart Award.”

“Sharing his passion for fish and fishing, Dick Hart was a mentor to young and old. Recognizing educators as the key he developed aquatic stewardship in others. This award honors his legacy,” said Doug Grann, Grann/Hollingsworth Family Trust.

Professional Angler, Alton Jones said, “”Dick Hart not only believed in educating children regarding fishing and conservation, he lived it out. In fact, when I was 6 years old, Dick was the one who took me out on my first fishing trip in a real bass boat! The Richard Hart Award aligns perfectly with his lifelong desire to education youth about the value and joy of fishing.”

Special recognition to the Hart Family, Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Karen Hollingsworth and Doug Grann, and Alton Jones for their gift to this important endowment.

The 2021 Fish Art Contest is now open and accepting entries. The deadline to enter is March 31st, 2021 so start creating today! Details available at

The Richard M Hart Educator of the Year Award is supported through an endowment to ensure ongoing recognition of outdoor mentors. Your gift today supports future generations and the legacy of Richard “Dick” Hart. Contact for more details.

About the Fish Art Contest: The award-winning Wildlife Forever Fish Art™ Contest, with support from Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, the USDA Forest Service and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, brings children, art and aquatic conservation together! The annual contest reaches thousands of youth each year. New distance learning resources allow students to participate from home or classroom and complement a wide array of educational programming. To enter, young artists create an original illustration of any fish from the Official Fish list and written words detailing its habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the full-color Fish Art Lesson Plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art. Entries are due postmarked or emailed by March 31st each year.

About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Recent audits reveal that 94% of every dollar supports our award-winning conservation programs. Please, Join Today and learn more about the Art of Conservation® Fish Art Contest® and Songbird Art Contest™, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ and Prairie City USA® at