Submit your photos to our nature photography contest

Entries for the fall 2015 photography contest poured into the Dickinson County Nature Center e-mail last August.

Photo of an old fence with a vivid blue sky

Photo by Eva Brown

Then it was the job of the staff to vote on their favorites, and it was harder than we would thought it would be. Eva Brown’s photo of a grassland fence drew us in with its vivid blue sky and crisp grasses that almost seemed like they were moving. Robert Harding’s morning glory looked like it was lit up within as the photo captured the morning light.

Photo of a morning glory flower

Photo by Robert Harding

However, it was finally Doug Bahrenfuss’ photo of wood ducks that captured our hearts and took home the top prize. We just knew the patience that he exuded to get the shot of the two colorful males swimming along.

Photo of two adult male wood ducks swimming

Winning fall 2015 photo by Doug Bahrenfuss

It is time again for the biannual photography contest at the Dickinson County Nature Center, with a deadline of April 1. Images must have been taken in the last year in Dickinson County and should highlight the diversity of life on Earth, including wildlife in its natural habitat, plant life, weather, landscapes and seasons.

“We certainly encourage photographers of all ages to head to our many county parks to look for that perfect shot,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator. “Horseshoe Bend is full of deer going about their daily routines in the woods. The Little Sioux Savanna has gorgeous scenic overlooks of the Little Sioux River. Westport Park has a sense of zen with its peaceful waters.”

Photographs are due by April 1 and will be classified into three age groups: 13 and younger, 14-18 or 19 and older. All submitted images will be on display at the nature center through August.

Winners in each age group will be notified via e-mail by April 15. Their images will be featured prominently in the photography display at the Dickinson County Nature Center, as the nature center’s May Facebook cover photo and on the nature center’s website. Winners will also receive a $5 gift certificate to the Nature Store at the nature center.

How to enter

Photographers may enter up to three photos 5-15 MB in size to labeled as firstnamelastname_location, for example johnsmith_horseshoebend. Photos should be jpeg, png or tiff files. In the body of the e-mail, include the photographer’s name, location of the photo, approximate date taken, age of photographer, city of residence and a short photo caption.

All images should display content appropriate for all ages. Please do not include photographs of pets or domestic animals, human recreation, the willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, photos that put any individual or animal in danger or images that infringe on the rights of another photographer or person.

Photographers retain all rights to their images except for use by Dickinson County Conservation.

For more information, contact 712-336-6352, e-mail or stop by the Dickinson County Nature Center, 2279 170th St. in Okoboji 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.


  1. Jon French on March 31, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Hi, I am unable & confused on how to find where to submit my 3 photos for the contest. I have clicked on the & it does nothing, nor can i find any links to submit any images or information, etc. It is 5:23 pm., so I could not call today, but will call tomorrow to hopefully get directed on how I can still get photos submitted. Thanks, Jon French

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