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NCTC open house moved to spring

By Staff | Oct 28, 2011

The National Conservation Training Center’s popular annual open house on its Shepherdstown campus will move from October to April 2012 to make room for the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest on Oct. 28 through 29.

The open house event, which regularly draws up to 2,000 visitors, will be held next year on April 21, to coincide with Earth Day weekend.

The contest is one of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s most prestigious events, and this year marks the first time it will be held in the state of West Virginia. Nearly 200 pieces of waterfowl art from artists around the country will be on display at the National Conservation Training Center. The five focal species for this year’s contest include the blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, gadwall, mallard and the wood duck.

Art will be available for public viewing beginning on Friday, Oct. 28 when the judges begin to whittle down the number of potential winning pieces. Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and the judging is expected to conclude for the day at around 2 p.m.

A fun, family-friendly film called “Duck: A Duckumentary!” will be screened for the public in the auditorium on Friday at 7 p.m. Free, fresh popcorn will be provided while it lasts.

On Saturday, Oct. 29, a free bird walk – with songbird friendly coffee – will be offered on campus beginning at 8 a.m. inside the Instructional West building, and the contest will resume at 10 a.m. in the auditorium.

For this event, NCTC does have a limited number of rooms available for overnight guests on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. To reserve a room, call NCTC Hotel Reservations at 304-876-7900. For information, go to www.fws.gov/duckstamps.