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Game On! Ringling College Students Compete

Public Input Needed by March 31, 2019


St. Petersburg, FL (March 12, 2019) – The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida turned to the students of Ringling College of Art and Design to create the new “Conserve Wildlife” license plate. Now, the public has the chance to weigh in on the winning design at

About the Plate

Once upon a time, the nonprofit 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 Florida panthers and bears to grasshopper sparrows and wood storks. While it still generates $400,000 annually for conservation, sales have declined significantly over the past several years, losing ground to newer – and more stylish – plates.

“This plate has generated more than $600,000 alone in recent years to help conserve the Florida black bear, which has rebounded from a total 400 bears 20 years ago to more than 4,000 bears today,” said Foundation CEO Andrew Walker. “We know the new design will be a bestseller that increases our ability to protect and manage Florida’s wonderful wildlife.”

The Competition

In the era of crowdsourcing, the Foundation turned to the best and brightest for help: the students of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL.

The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida worked with The Collaboratory, launching a campus-wide competition to redesign the “Conserve Wildlife” plate. The Collaboratory is a partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design and The Patterson Foundation created to offer students real-world work experience before they graduate. “We are extremely pleased with the design and technical challenges this project provides our students. The competition is a tremendous opportunity, demanding our students develop a unique design which addresses both aesthetic and functional needs, from concept to output,” said Collaboratory project director, Angela Leed. Ninety-eight students entered, competing for cash prizes and the chance to see their artwork adorning cars across the state. Ringling faculty chose the five top plates, all of which will receive awards, and the Foundation will choose the winning design.

Public Voting

Now we want your input! Vote for your favorite design at The design with the most votes will receive an additional $1,000 “People’s Choice” award. Voting is underway between now and March 31, 2019.

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.

About the Fish and 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

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