Preserve the Moment Contest

Read the rules

I.  Eligibility

A.) Contestants must be 18 years old or older and U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents (green card).
B.) Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) employees, volunteers, Board members, and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents, and children.
C.) Professional photographers who receive all or a major part of their income from photography are not eligible to participate in the contest.
D.) The FPDWC reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, winner eligibility.
E.) Rules are subject to change without notice but will be posted on this page. 

II. Contest Entry/Photograph Submission

A.) Contestants must submit their entries via the online upload tool at No prints will be accepted.
B.) Each contestant is limited to five (5) contest entries per month.  
C.) Submitted photographs must be taken within a Will County Forest Preserve or District trail during the contest period (May 1 through December 31, 2022) and the preserve or trail must be listed on the "location" field of the submission form to be a valid submission. Simply listing the town where it was taken is not valid.
D.) Non-native species must not be prominent in photo submissions.
E.) Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters, and corrective functions are permitted, but images that have been judged to be altered in any significant manner will be disqualified. Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames, or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures, or copyright images onto photos.
F.) If a submitted photograph contains a recognizable person, the contestant must have permission to distribute the photograph from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject's parent or guardian, and must provide written permission to the FPDWC upon request.
G.) Photographs must be appropriate for posting on a public government website. Obscene, provocative, or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. The FPDWC retains sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.
H.) Contest entries for each month's photo category must be uploaded via the online upload tool at by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on last day of the month. 

III.  Photo Format

A.) Digital photographs must be submitted in .jpg or .gif formats.
B.) Photographs may be either in vertical or horizontal format.
C.) Photos must be 4MB or less.

IV.  Judging

A.) Each month from May through December 2022, a panel of judges will select five finalist photos among those submitted during that time period. Judges base their decisions on the following qualities: focus, lighting, composition, impact, creativity, and storytelling. The decisions of the judges are final.
B.) A public vote via Facebook will determine the monthly winner, with each monthly winner being entered into a final round of voting at the conclusion of the contest. 
C.) The first-place, second-place and third-place winners will be determined by an online vote.
D.) A participant may only be selected as a monthly winner a maximum of three times during each contest year.  

V.  Use of the Photos

A.) In the event that ownership of any photograph submitted to the FPDWC is contested in any manner, the FPDWC reserves the right to disqualify the photograph from the contest.
B.) Entries that fail to comply with the Contest Rules will be disqualified without notice.
C.) Upon submission of a photograph for contest entry, the contestant grants both the FPDWC and The Nature Foundation of Will County non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license rights to use, reproduce, distribute, and publish submitted photograph on its website or in publications, brochures, and newsletters and for other marketing and promotional uses, as well as distribute it to the media. The FPDWC recognizes that the photographer owns the image and the copyright to the photograph. Upon submission of a photograph for contest entry, the contestant also grants the FPDWC the right to use the contestant's name, city, and state of residence in promotions and other publications.

VI.  Prizes

A.) The first-place winner will receive a MasterCard gift card ($500 value).
B.) The second-place winner will receive a MasterCard gift card ($250 value).
C.) The third-place winner will receive a MasterCard gift card ($150 value).
D.) Monthly finalists will receive a MasterCard gift card ($75 value).
E.) At the conclusion of the contest, three random drawings also will be held for all contest participants. The three winners will each receive a MasterCard gift card ($75 value). Only those participants who have not won a prize in the 2022 contest will be eligible for the drawing.
F.) The prizes are nontransferable, and no cash alternative is available.

VII.  Legal Conditions

A.) By entering the contest, participants warrant that their entry materials are original and do not infringe on any third party's rights, and that they have obtained any necessary permissions from any third party if a third party or third party's property appears in the photograph. The FPDWC reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it finds in its sole discretion that any of the foregoing warranties are not true. Decisions of the FPDWC shall be final and binding.
B.) By entering, participants release and hold harmless the FPDWC, its affiliated organizations, and each of its directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or related to the FPDWC, any prize won, any use of the entry materials by the FPDWC, the warranties participants make, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any FPDWC-related activity, access to and use of the FPDWC's website, the downloading or uploading and/or printing of material from said site, or participation in the contest.
C.) Any attempt by an entrant or other individual to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the FPDWC is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, the FPDWC reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
D.) The FPDWC is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized by the FPDWC, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the FPDWC, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. The FPDWC assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, photographs. The FPDWC is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer online systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participants or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the contest.
E.) All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the winners.
F.) If, for any reason, the FPDWC is not capable of completing the contest as planned, including, but not limited to, by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the FPDWC that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the contest, the FPDWC reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest.
G.) The FPDWC is not responsible for lost, damaged, late, or misdirected photographs, or for uploading connections, garbled transmissions, unauthorized intervention, or technical malfunctions.

VIII. Contact

A.) Questions and inquiries regarding contest rules or technical matters, including problems uploading photos, can be emailed to [email protected].

Participants are encouraged to submit their photos as they are taken, and are limited to submitting five photos per month.