Meet the Artist, Kent Olson
AS A FIELD BIOLOGIST, Kent Olson devoted much of his career from 1958 to 1990, helping to preserve prairie wetlands of the Midwest, being introduced to refuge work as a trainee at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, and the Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois. His later work in the Small Wetlands Program helped create many of the productive waterfowl production areas we see today.
It is, however, Kent's other passion for drawing cartoons, that teaches a conservation ethic, that many people recognize. For over 40 years his prolific illustrations appeared throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, state game and fish publications and local newsletters.
From "Greenbacks to Greenheads" illustrating the contribution to wildlife by hunters, to farm issues and teaching generations of Americans about National Wildlife Refuges featuring a cartoon entitled "A Place to Call Home," his work reminds us that wildlife and wild places are a priceless heritage.
Meet the Publisher, Jonathan Schafler
JONATHAN SCHAFLER spent twenty-five years with the U.S. Department of the Interior, working with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all across the United States; from Kodiak, Alaska to San Juan, Puerto Rico as a firefighter, park ranger and wildlife refuge manager. He is also a thirty-one year veteran of the United States Coast Guard Reserve with five deployments and the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq.
His own work on "The Teddy Project" through a partnership with the Art Institutes of America created 36 animated cartoon short films instilling a conservation ethic in our youth.
Schafler's love of Kent Olson's artwork inspired him to seek out Kent and reintroduce America to these great cartoons. It is a tribute to Kent and his lifelong dedication to conservation.
Meet the Star, Paddy O'Mallard
PADDY O'MALLARD was featured in many of these early releases. Oh, you don't know Paddy? There's a bit of mystery concerning his origin. Some say Paddy was a greenhead from the Emerald Isle blown way off course to the glorious prarie lands of mid-America. Others say he simply hatched out in Quincey, Illinois in 1961. At any rate, Paddy was primed to help tell folks about prairie wetlands and their importance to wildlife and people.
Paddy, however wanted to broaden his message. Enlisting help from his neighbors, pheasants, foxes, rabbits, deer, mice and others, they would tell of their lives, bad and good times through cartoons. They would entertain and inform.