It may not be displayed in the Louvre in Paris or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but it will hold a special place in people’s memories and may even save a life.
A panel of National Park Service judges have selected Ashlie Anderson’s illustration has the winning design in the 2017 Brooks Camp Bear Pin Design Competition. Her image will be used for this year’s bear pin.
“I am so grateful that my design has been selected for the 2017 Katmai bear pin,” Anderson said. “I am truly inspired by my beautiful backyard and all of the creatures that reside here alongside us.”
The Naknek resident’s design was chosen from among a pool of submissions drawn from members of the local community. Holding a public competition for the 2017 bear pins was a first in the history of the Brooks Bear Etiquette Program.
“I envision this year’s bear pin competition as just one of the many ways that Katmai National Park can involve the local community,” said Cathy Bell, Chief of Interpretation and Education. “We are planning community events, potlucks, and other programs for the future, and we’ll make sure to get the word out.”
A bear pin is awarded to any visitor who completes the mandatory bear etiquette training upon their first visit to Brooks Camp in a summer. The pin serves as a reminder of their training to each visitor, and is a visual confirmation to park staff that they have been trained. A limited edition, full-color bear booster pin is also awarded to visitors who exhibit especially responsible behavior around the bears.
Over the years the bear pin program has expanded with increasing visitation. The pins have become popular collector’s items. Over 10,000 visitors were awarded pins last season alone, so the lucky design winner will have the satisfaction of seeing their artwork being proudly worn around town this summer.