Countdown to 2026, Why 2026? 
It’s Darling’s 150th Birthday! 
Yes, we are starting early in our celebration with special surprises along the way, beginning with an early 2024 summer International Camp for young people to learn about our Outdoor Heroes. Details to come.

Jay N. Darling (1876-1962) is a national treasure. Let us share this two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, writer, sportsman, Duck Stamp artist, world traveler, conservation activist, National Wildlife Federation founder, National Wildlife Refuge System developer and advocate, musician, Cooperative Research Program founder, J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge namesake, gardener, pilot, Sanibel and Captiva Island, Florida resident, visionary and — indeed — the prankster.

Remembering Darling sixty years after his February 1962 passing and ten years after America’s Darling’s award-winning film release.

It is time once again for a great American story!

The one-hour documentary, “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. ‘Ding’ Darling,” released by Marvo Entertainment Group LLC in 2013, is the true story of Jay N. Darling, a national cartoonist who changed America by influencing her presidents, shaping her landscapes and winning the hearts of her people.

An Even Greater Story!

It’s been more than a decade since the award-winning documentary, America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling, was researched and produced. Now is the time to tell an even greater American story after years of discovering new material, exploring primary content sources, and fulfilling Legacy promises. It is time for America’s Darling, the motion picture film about the man “who never forgot he once was a boy — Jay Norwood Darling.” Stay tuned for details about our film development and opportunities to become a part of the footprint that shaped the landscape of our nation and continues to inspire generations around the world. Executive Producers Sam Koltinsky and Patricia Fralick will be reaching out for the best in the industry to put together a team that reflects the true story of Darling as few have come to know.  

Preserve a Legacy. Inspire Change.

The Jay N. Darling Legacy Center has evolved into a non-profit friends group to support, enhance, and champion Jay N. Darling’s legacy. Sam Koltinsky had the honor of both a friendship and mentorship through Christopher “Kip” Koss, Darling’s grandson. Darling’s footprint is wide across the world. We are honored to foster his legacy and to connect with future generations. 

The Jay N. Darling Legacy Center supports the establishment and work of The Jay N. Darling Institute at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, as the Institute communicates Darling’s legacy and inspires others to build upon that legacy in order to make the world a better place. Please join us in stewarding and fulfilling the promise for future generations.

Help us preserve an extraordinary part of Darling’s legacy through
The Jay N. Darling Institute at Drake University https://alumni.drake.edu/darling

We are excited about our contemporary programs and legacy partnerships inspired by the Darling footprint. Darling’s leadership style, character, and vision are represented in these initiatives.

Honoring a Legacy
Maynard Reece, Five-time Duck Stamp Winner
Make Maynard’s Gift Your Gift

Celebrating a Partnership
With a different tune from Songbirds!
Songbird Art Contest

Connecting Legacies: Then and Now
The Piney Woods School

Congratulations MISHA Participant Artists!
Click for acceptance and online programming information

The Jay N. Darling Kiosk Timeline highlights the legacy “Ding” Darling left behind by remembering details from his life.

Douglas Brinkley, Presidential Historian and Conservationist, shares his perspective on Darling.

Still wondering what makes the Darling Institute so valuable? Watch here!

Continue following the latest Darling-Inspired News for further updates about the Darling Legacy Center and its outreach.