Photo Contest Details

Wild Ones mission is all about educating and inspiring people to cultivate community and together take action to heal our environment through landscaping with native plants. We count on the photos you submit to the contest to help us inspire others to make this critical shift in their landscaping practices! One photo is said to be worth a thousand words, but perhaps one photo could be much more valuable than that and instead help restore a thousand acres!

This year’s photo contest seeks to emphasize the joy, the connections, the journey, the beauty, and the healing experienced by both the people and the land through the native landscaping movement. We hope you share your valuable photos with us, especially of your home and local landscapes and the community that has been cultivated around those projects.

Entries for the 2024 Contest will be accepted from 12:00 a.m. CT on Monday, July 1st through 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, August 30th, 2024.

By entering your photographs in our photo contest, you are helping Wild Ones further our mission. Wild Ones may use your photos in print and electronically, in the media, publications, and platforms, as we see fit such as for educational and promotional purposes, so that others may be inspired to learn about native plants and natural landscaping.

After the contest, members will be able to view the entries online and vote for the people’s choice award. Additionally, winning photographs will be posted on social media and shared via email to members for everyone to view them.

For more info, please visit Contest Rules and Guidelines.


Living Things – Photo must feature both native flora and fauna, which may include pollinators, human subjects and non-pollinator wildlife. Plants and wildlife must be native to the United States or Canada. (Category Entry Limit: 3 Photos)

Example of LIVING THINGS entry

Photographer: Marilyn Hessinger
Chapter: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Photo Story: This endangered butterfly was seen on a guided tour at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Pennsylvania. This protected grassland site provides the butterfly with its host plant the arrow-leaf violet (Viola sagittata).

Landscapes – Photo must feature native plants and natural landscaping around a private residence, buildings or facilities as part of the subject. Examples might include home yards, community centers, village squares, local schools, libraries, etc., that are landscaped using native plants. Emphasis must be on the natural landscaping but include some element of a man-made structure. (Category Entry Limit: 3 Photos)

Example of LANDSCAPES entry

Photographer: Sheila Walters
Chapter: North Oakland
Photo Story: These flowers were planted by Dr Peggi Tabor and are native to the area. We purchased the property in early spring after she grew a garden and established a Wildlife Habitat over a period of 30 years. The pond is entirely contained on the property and has an artesian spring.

Seasons: Winter – Subject of the photo must feature an aspect of native woodland, savanna, prairie, and wetlands during the winter season. Photo may include landscaping amenities such as stone walls and sculptures, and wildlife as part of the natural landscape, but these objects should not be the central focus of the photo. Emphasis must be on the natural landscape in the winter or dormant season. (Category Entry Limit: 3 Photos)

Example of SEASONS: WINTER entry

Photographer: Nan Pokerwinski
Chapter: River City-Grand Rapids Area
Photo Story: I noticed these snow-capped seed heads on my way to the mailbox one wintry morning and appreciated their stark beauty.

Events – Photo must feature both native flora and at least one human subject to demonstrate a connection between the person/people and the native plants that occur at public Wild Ones events. (Category Entry Limit: 3 Photos)

Example of EVENTS entry

Photographer: Quyen Edwards
Chapter: Kalamazoo Area
Photo Story: A group went on a hike through Chipman Preserve looking for butterflies in August 2023. We found 17 species that day including monarch, viceroy, red-spotted purple, American copper, grey hairstreak, and eastern tailed blue butterflies.


What is a photo story?
The photo story serves as a textual accompaniment to an image, providing additional context, backstory, or interpretation. It delves deeper into the scene depicted, offering insights into the subject, setting, emotions, or events captured. A photo story can provide details that may not be immediately apparent from the image alone, helping viewers to better understand the significance or message behind the photograph. See examples of photo stories above from each category.

Other questions?
Review all rules and guidelines. Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be e-mailed to [email protected]. Do not submit entries to this email address. All entries must be received via the submission form.