Champaign County Forest Preserve District Photo Contest Official Rules

Submission Requirements

Photos eligible for the 2020 photo contest must be submitted via email to [email protected] between April 20, 2020 – June 1, 2020. There is a submission limit of three (3) entries/photos per person and all photos must meet the following requirements:

  • All photographs must have been taken in the Champaign County Forest Preserves ~ Lake of the Woods, Homer Lake, Middle Fork River, River Bend, Sangamon River and the Kickapoo Rail Trail in the past few years.
  • Photographs must be in a digital format such as JPEG or TIF at a minimum resolution of 3600 x 2700 pixels at 300 dpi and a maximum file size of 24MB at time of submission.
  • Photographs included in the calendar will be horizontal (vertical photographs should be cropped before submitting).
  • All entries must include a caption with the specific location within the Champaign County Forest Preserve where it was shot and the approximate date when the photo was taken (e.g. Collins Pond, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, Spring 2020; Stidham Woods, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, May 2019).
  • Best efforts should be made to identify plants or wildlife that are the subject of your photograph and their identification should be included in your caption. (e.g. Pileated woodpecker at Lake of the Woods, July 2019).

General Rules

  • By submitting your photos, you are confirming that the photos are your own work and you own the rights to distribute the images.
  • Photos should feature Champaign County Forest Preserves landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, pictures that highlight the seasons, and shots of people enjoying the outdoors or participating in our recreational offerings.
  • There is a submission limit of three (3) entries/photos per person.
  • All submissions must be free of watermarks (All winning photos included in the calendar will be credited appropriately.)
  • Photographers must obtain (and supply upon request) the name of and written permission from any persons included in the photo entries, authorizing their image to be used in Champaign County Forest Preserves digital and/or print materials. Entries of people for whom you are not able to supply the appropriate written releases cannot be included in the calendar and other Champaign County Forest Preserve District materials.
  • Photos including nudity, profanity, commercial or political interests, graffiti, or anything wildly off-topic are strictly prohibited. The Champaign County Forest Preserve District reserves the right to disqualify any photographs that are deemed inappropriate.


  • April 20-June 1 – Submission period via email
  • July 1 – Winners and runners-up announced via email; photo album posted on the District’s official Facebook account.

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.

Photo Rights

Your photographs help the Champaign County Forest Preserve District spread the message of how important it is to protect our region’s amazing diversity of wildlife, plants and habitats. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.

Photographers retain all rights to photograph entries. However, by submitting photographs for contest entry, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District is automatically granted a royalty-free, nonexclusive, world-wide, irrevocable right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Publish, distribute, and otherwise use the submitted photographs in any way, in whole or in part, in any format or media, now existing or later developed, for any lawful purpose, including without limitation, using the submitted photographs in its 2021 Champaign County Forest Preserve District Wall Calendar, on its website, in connection with the photo contest and calendar, in connection with general marketing and promotional activities, and on its social media pages.
  • As conditions of this permission, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District shall credit all photographs used with “Person’s Name” and location photograph was taken.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Winning Photos

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District judging panel will select the contest winners and runners-up. Thirteen (13) winners will be chosen by the panel, as well as 12 runner-up photos. Twelve (12) winning photographs from the general public will be featured on monthly calendar pages, and one (1) winning photograph will be featured on the cover of the calendar. The twelve (12) runner-up photos may be featured in the Leaflet newsletter, on District social media accounts, and on the District website. Photos may also be used in general promotional and marketing material, with photographer credit.

Winning photos will be included in the 2021 Champaign County Forest Preserves District Wall Calendar, on and District’s social media accounts.

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the judges are final.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]