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Beat Boredom with Stay-At-Home Backyard Nature Photo Contest

Photo for: Beat Boredom with Stay-At-Home Backyard Nature Photo Contest

It you’re tired of staring out the windows during the coronavirus pandemic, grab your camera and join our special photo contest, which is designed to keep people entertained while they are sheltering at home.

The Forest Preserve District’s Stay-At-Home Backyard Nature Photo Contest begins immediately, and any photos of nature taken in your backyard since the governor’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 21 will be eligible. 

So now when you stare outside, you’ll be on the lookout for animals, signs of spring, a swath of trees, a budding plant or a tiny creature emerging from winter’s grasp. Pictures of your pets (as cute as they are) aren't eligible for the contest, but backyard bird feeder action can be entered.

Any camera will do, from DSLRs to smart phones. 

Photos must be taken in your yard or neighborhood between Saturday, March 21, and Thursday, April 30, which is the current duration of the state's stay-at-home mandate. That could change, so the contest deadline could change too. 

Participants have the chance to win gift cards valued at $100, $50 and $25 for first, second and third place finishes, respectively. 

As with any contest, there are rules. Here are a few of the basic ones:

  • Contestants must be amateur photographers 18 years old or older and Will County residents. 
  • Photos must be submitted online via the upload tool in a digital format.
  • Only five entries per contestant will be allowed for this contest. 
  • Minor digital enhancements are permitted. 

Please read all the rules before submitting your photos for consideration. 


A panel of judges will select its favorite photos from the submissions. These photos will then be entered into the final judging, which will take place on the Forest Preserve's Facebook page, where public voting will determine the top three pictures. 

The Forest Preserve’s annual Preserve the Moment Photo Contest, which had been scheduled to begin April 1, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and it will be rescheduled at a later date. Closure and cancellation updates are being posted online under the Current Headlines section of our website


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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