Press Releases /

And the Winner Is…

The results of the Conserve Wildlife license plate design competition are announced


(St. Petersburg, FL) April 1, 2019– The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and The Collaboratory at Ringling College of Art and Design announced the winners for the “Conserve Wildlife” license plate design contest today.

More than 4,400 votes were cast by the public for their favorite plate through Sunday, March 31, 2019. The results are as follows:

  • Top Jury Prize + $5,000: Mara Whelan’s (Illustration, 2021) design of the Florida black bear emerging from palmettos
  • Second Place + $3,000: Rachel DeCiccio’s (Illustration, 2020) depiction of the bear sitting in the water amongst birds.
  • Third Place + $2,000: Lauren Taylor Coney (Illustration, 2020)
  • Fourth Place + $1,000: Remitri Roggio (Illustration, 2020)
  • Fifth Place + $1,000: Rachel Bivens (Illustration, 2021)
  • Most Popular: Rachel DeCiccio’s second-place design

The nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida launched the campus-wide competition with The Collaboratory in February 2019 with 98 students participating. Ringling College faculty chose the five top plates and the Foundation chose the winning design. “We are extremely pleased with the design and technical challenges this project provides our students,” said Angela Leed, Collaboratory project director. “The competition is a tremendous opportunity, demanding our students develop a unique design which addresses both aesthetic and functional needs, from concept to output.”

The Foundation will now begin working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles on a final, state-approved design.  “We can’t thank Ringling’s students and faculty enough for their enthusiasm, professionalism, and enormous talent,” said Foundation CEO Andrew Walker. “We look forward to continuing work with them as needed on any refinements needed to obtain final state approval.”

Once upon a time, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s “Conserve Wildlife” license plate was one of the best-selling in the Sunshine State. For $25 extra dollars, Florida drivers with the bear tag knew they were protecting many of Florida’s iconic animals, from endangered beach mice and bears to grasshopper sparrows and wood storks. While it still generates nearly $400,000 annually for conservation, sales have declined significantly over the past several years, losing ground to newer – and more stylish – plates.

All the finalists will be acknowledged during an awards presentation on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 11:30am in the Ringling Library.

About The Ringling College Collaboratory

Forward-thinking businesses come to The Ringling College Collaboratory with professional design challenges. It turns those challenges into legitimate projects and connects faculty and students with the opportunity to create innovative design solutions. The Collaboratory offers multiple ways to engage students and clients, from a one-day Immersive to a long-term, multi-semester engagement. The Collaboratory is a partnership between Ringling College of Art and Design and The Patterson Foundation. For more information, visit:

About the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other public and private partners to conserve Florida’s native animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has raised and donated more than $32 million to conservation and outdoor recreation and education. More information can be found at

Similar Blog

Read More Major Gifts Officer

Major Gifts Officer

POSITION TITLE: Major Gifts Officer FLSA STATUS: Exempt SUPERVISOR: Director of Philanthropy LOCATION: St. Petersburg, Florida Please send resume and

Background Image

Protecting Wild Florida Begins With You.

Protecting wild Florida begins with you. From Pensacola Bay to Key West, our Foundation is working to protect Florida’s natural lands and waters and the wildlife they harbor.

Help ensure future generations can experience wild Florida by donating now.



Donate Now
Group of People