42nd Annual Photo Contest

Update: Our 2021 Photo Contest has ended. See this year’s entries here.

Thank you to this year’s participants. Please follow us on Facebook to stay tuned for next year’s contest!

Calling all photographers! Have you taken pictures in the Elkhart County Parks this year? We want to see! Whether it’s a scenic view, a wildlife encounter, or a memorable family moment in the park, send it our way.


Photographers of all levels — from smartphone shutterbugs to seasoned DSLR photographers are invited to enter your favorite photos for our 41st Annual Photo Contest. This year, all eligible contestants will have their entries showcased online starting Feb.27! What are you waiting for? Give us your best shot!


Submit your photos online here.

  • Pictures should be submitted at the highest quality possible (Max Size: 25 mb each).
  • You may submit up to 3 entries per category.

Submission Deadline

Photo entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14.

For additional information, contact the parks administration office at 574-535-6458.

Photo Contest Categories

A) Buggy About Nature

This year, we challenge you to get up close with the creepy crawlies and show us your best insect-inspired photography. From mantises and moths to cicadas and spiders, zoom in and show us your best shots of any cool critters you call “bugs”. Photographs in this category do not have to be taken within the Elkhart County Parks.

B) Nature of the Photo

Inspire with photos showcasing the wild beauty of Michiana flora and fauna. Entries in this category do not have to be taken within the Elkhart County Parks.

C) Activities in the Parks

Share your favorite adventures in the Elkhart County Parks. For this category, photos must be taken within the Elkhart County Parks and can feature visitors, staff, facilities, or landscapes. Eligible properties include:

  • Ox Bow County Park
  • Bonneyville Mill County Park
  • River Preserve County Park
  • Boot Lake Nature Preserve
  • Cobus Creek County Park
  • Elkhart County Historical Museum
  • Treasure Island
  • Wolf Lake
  • Turkey Creek
  • Pumpkinvine Nature Trail
  • Six-Span Bridge Boat Launch

Parks Staff Shots

Sometimes, the most memorable photos are about being at the right place at the right time. Staff are invited to show their love for the people, nature, and places that make the Elkhart County Parks so special. Grab your phone and snap shots of wildlife, landscapes, and anything else that captures the essence of your experience in the parks.


Youth entries will be selected from all three existing categories. Photographers must be 16 years of age or younger to be considered. Please enter your photograph in categories A, B, or C, and indicate your age when submitting entries. Photos will be judged in their respective category, then separated for judging in the Youth Category.

Judging & Awards

Three independent judges will pick winners and award ribbons for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category, including Youth entries. Special ribbons will also be given to the Best of Show and Best Black & White winners.

Photo Display

All entries will be displayed online beginning January 21, 2022.

Important Dates

  • JAN 14 – Photo Entry Deadline
  • JAN 20 – Photo Judging
  • JAN 21 – Online Photo Contest Exhibition


Any photographer may submit pictures for display; however, Elkhart County Parks personnel, their immediate family, and professionals may not compete for awards (outside of the Parks Staff category). Elkhart County Parks reserves the right to reject entries which might be judged in poor taste. All entries must be submitted digitally.