— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications

Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary April 22, 2020, and Assistant Professor of Illustration Joe Kulka commemorated it with a new illustration of Woodsy Owl for the USDA Forest Service.

"The illustration shows the current version of Woodsy, the one I've been drawing for the past 16 years, leaning up against a sign with the original version of Woodsy Owl along with his original catch phrase, 'Give A Hoot, Don't Pollute,' said Kulka. "His current slogan is 'Lend A Hand, Care For The Land,' as he is more about land stewardship and conservation than just pollution."

Kulka said the work was commissioned at the end of February, and that the empty space on the illustration is designed to allow local Forest Service agents to add their own Earth Day agendas. 

"This was cool that I got the opportunity to draw the original version of Woodsy and have one of my illustrations be part of the 'Give A Hoot, Don't Pollute' campaign," he said.

Woodsy isn't the only character Kulka illustrates for the U.S. Forest Service. After he began drawing Woodsy in 2004, he was asked to illustrate the iconic Smokey Bear.

Read more about Kulka and his work here.

See how Woodsy Owl celebrates Earth Day here.