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Preserve The Moment Photo Contest Returns for 2019

Photo for: Preserve The Moment Photo Contest Returns for 2019

The Preserve the Moment photo contest is back for a fourth consecutive year and it is the perfect way for you to share your love of nature and photography and possibly win prizes.

This year, the Forest Preserve’s contest is starting a month earlier than previously to give everyone more opportunities to enter. In April, the preserves begin to come alive with wildflowers and increased wildlife activity, so it's a great time to grab a camera and see what's out there.

Last year's contest, where a pair of hugging squirrels took first place, was our biggest yet with nearly 1,000 photos entered and we can't wait to see all of the amazing entries start pouring in.

Participants should upload their photos monthly. A winner will be chosen each month by a panel of judges from among the entries. At the end of the contest, all monthly finalists will be entered into the overall contest.

For those new to nature photography and seeking some inspiration, check out these fantastic local resources:

  • The Will County Wildlife Facebook Group: This page is run by the Forest Preserve and the feed is filled with beautiful photos from around the county.
  • The Today's Bird Twitter account: It features the best of the best bird photos we have.
  • The Wildlife of the Day Twitter account: It's our most popular Twitter account and provides a daily blood pressure break.
  • The Today's Bald Eagle Twitter account: It's as amazing as it sounds.
  • Our Instagram account: Your one stop shop for flora, fauna, sunsets and anything having to do with nature. 
  • Our Flickr account: A collection of approximately 15,000 photos.

Here are the basics:


Photos must be taken in a Will County preserve during the contest time period (April 1 through December 31, 2019) by amateur photographers age 18 and older. Photos taken in municipal parks, state parks, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, or in your backyard will not be eligible. Each contestant is limited to five contest entries per month.

*** Photos taken prior to April 1 will be disqualified. ***


A panel of judges will analyze the monthly submissions based on focus, lighting, composition, impact, creativity and storytelling. After the monthly winners are chosen from April-December, all eight finalists will be judged in January through online voting by members of the public via the District’s Facebook page.


Visa gift cards will be awarded for the top three finishers in the overall contest in these amounts: First place, $500; second place, $250; third place $150. And monthly winners will each receive a $75 Visa gift card.

At the conclusion of the contest, three random drawings also will be held for all contest participants. The three winners will each receive a $75 Visa gift card. Only those participants who have not won a prize in the 2019 contest will be eligible for the drawing.

Finally, every entrant will receive a participation gift.

Contest prizes are made possible through the generous support of The Nature Foundation of Will County.


More information

Photo submissions will be shared online on the District’s website and social media accounts and may be used in other District marketing efforts. Submitted photos must be taken by amateur photographers in Forest Preserve District of Will County locations during the contest time period.

So grab your camera and start snapping pictures, but remember to upload your best photos monthly to be in the running for final online judging and prizes.

Before you start snapping photos, read the complete list of rules so all of your photos count!


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.


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