Quino checkerspot butterfly

2020 San Diego Zoo Kids Art Contest


Attention Young Artists! 


This is your chance to have your own masterpiece displayed at the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park and win an annual membership and four single-day passes. tiger You can also vote for the best wildlife artwork in each of three age categories:

- Kindergarten to second grade

- Third grade to fifth grade

- Sixth grade to twelfth grade

The theme of this year's contest is “Nature in Your Neighborhood."

Your artwork has to feature a plant or animal from where you live. It's that simple! Pieces can be done in any two- or three-dimensional visual arts medium, whether watercolor, clay, photography, computer-generated art, mixed media, or something else (artwork can be no larger than 26 inches tall, 26 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and up to 15 pounds).


Here's How it Works


- Create your original artwork and submit a digital photo of it. (Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches tall, 26 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and up to 15 pounds.) 


- The submission deadline is August 14, 2020. Each contestant can enter just one piece of art, so make it a masterpiece! (Winners are required to ship their art to the San Diego Zoo by September 25 for display during the month of October. The San Diego Zoo will return the artwork to the contestants.)


- A panel of anonymous judges from the San Diego Zoo will select 10 finalists in each of 3 age groups.


For more details on submission guidelines and contest rules, click here


If you’re a student in the San Diego Unified School District participating in the SDUSD Summer Expanding Horizons Challenge, make sure to check the box on the submission form.


An anonymous committee of San Diego Zoo employees will select up to 10 finalists from each age group, and a photo of each finalist's work will be posted to the San Diego Zoo Kids website. The public can cast votes online from August 24 to September 6, 2020. The top three winners in each age group will be announced on September 9. Each will win an annual membership and four single-day passes for friends and family. The public can view the winning pieces in person at the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and online on the San Diego Zoo Kids website for the entire month of October.





burrowing owl

Need a Little Help Getting Started?

The theme of this contest is “Nature in Your Neighborhood,” because nature itself is a work of art. Traveling the world isn't necessary to encounter incredible wildlife—you can find rare and endangered species right in your own community. Take a walk outside, or even just glance out your windows. Inspiration is everywhere you look!

Meet a few of the endangered species that San Diego Zoo Global is helping in our own backyard!

Burrowing Owls

Pacific Pocket Mouse

Pacific Pond Turtles

iNaturalists App

Another great resource is the iNaturalist App.

Use iNaturalist to help you identify endangered species near you!

Download the iNaturalist app on a smartphone, or visit inaturalist.org.

On the app or the website, enable these filters to search for endangered species in your area:

- Wild

- Verifiable

- Threatened

- Has photos.


Scroll through images until you find one you like with a green “N” in the upper right corner. That’s how you know it’s a native species!


Try to find a species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered. Look for a red bar at the top of the page to indicate Endangered or Critically Endangered status.


Now, get creative and design your masterpiece!