On the prairie

The Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center are sponsoring a prairie-themed photography contest with a Sept. 15 deadline.

The Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center is sponsoring their first prairie-themed photography contest.

Photos will be grouped into one of three categories: prairie wildlife, prairie plant life and prairie scenic.

Prairie wildlife can include live birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Prairie plant life options can include trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, mushrooms and other flora in their natural habitat.

Scenic and recreation options are landscapes, vistas, people enjoying recreational opportunities on public land prairies be it hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching or photography.

There are 10 primary contest rules all of which are spelled out in the contest rules form. The first rule is that only photos taken on public land since Jan. 1, 2020, may be entered. The contest deadline is 4 p.m. on Sept. 15. The contest is open to amateurs who derive less than 5% of their income from photography. Up to five photos per person may be entered but no more than two per category. The contest judges will accept both 5-by-7 inch color or black-and-white prints. All print entries must be labeled on the back. Digital jpeg photo files can also be submitted. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will be disqualified.

Submitted prints become property of the USFWS Fergus Falls Wetland District. The photographer grants unlimited use of submitted photos by the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District and Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and USFWS publications, webpages, presentations and other promotional products. Credit will be given to the photographer.

There will be a youth division open to those 16 of age and younger.

Photos will be judged by a panel of local photographers and judges will pick the top three photo entries in each category. A grand prize along with the first, second and third place overall photos will also be selected as well as both “Manager’s Choice” and “Friend’s Choice” awards. Facebook users will be able to cast their vote for their favorite contest photo. Photos will be displayed on the Friend’s Facebook page. Voting will close at the start of National Wildlife Refuge Week Oct. 11.

Contest winners will be announced during National Wildlife Refuge Week Oct. 17. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook at 2 p.m. 

The grand prize winner will receive a large metal print after it is displayed at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center for one year. Other prizes will also be awarded.

For detailed contest rules and entry forms email FriendsPWLC@gmail.com or call the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands phone line at 218-998-4488. If not closed due to COVID-19 conditions, entries can be left at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center at 602 State Highway 210 East in Fergus Falls.

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