Youth Arts in the Parks 2020 Contest Announced

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (WOAY) – Local students can celebrate their creativity and interest in nature through the Youth Arts in the Parks 2020 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest.

This contest and spring art exhibition allows students to serve as community leaders and raise awareness of Appalachia’s natural diversity and parks. Their works can inspire community connections to local ecology, parks and outdoor stewardship. Some students will have the opportunity to explore the business of art and its role in economic development.

The art contest is open to all K-12th grade students in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties. Kids can enter through their school or independently. Contestants can use a variety of mediums to create art inspired by a spring Appalachian wildflower found in the New River Gorge area. Updated 2020 contest rules, list of accepted wildflower species, online entry procedures, special team challenge news and species photo references are available online at

Lily Burr, 12th grade, Midland Trail School, Fayette County. 2019 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest – Best in Show (paint/colored pencil).

Photo of contest entries must be submitted online between January 6 – February 9, 2020. Top entries will be showcased at the spring 2020 art exhibit at the Tamarack and online. Contest winners will receive art supply awards at a special ceremony.

Youth Arts in the Parks art contest is part of New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend, April 24 – 26, 2020. The annual event celebrates the region’s diverse ecology, hosted by staff and volunteers of New River Gorge National River, Tamarack and several southern West Virginia State Parks. The event schedule will be posted online as this celebration draws near.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at