Nature Photography Contest

All photos tell a story. Whether it's a hiker taking a photo with their smartphone, a lifelong DSLR-loving photographer, or a child taking a photo for the first time, we want to see the parks and nature through your lenses! Amateur photographers submit your photos to the Moments in Nature Photography Contest. Photo submissions are at the link at the bottom of the page. 

Entry Categories:

  •  Photos will be organized into the following categories: 
    • Recreation & Community
    • Wildlife
    • Plants & Fungi
    • Landscapes

Key Dates:

  • Submission deadline: March 1st
  • Show opens: March 2nd
  • Show closes: March 31st

A portion of the photographs will be displayed in the Swiss Valley Nature Center or the EB Lyons Interpretive Center  Visitors will be welcomed to submit their ballot during the duration of the show for their favorite photos in each category. Results will be tallied at the conclusion of the show and announced. Winners in both adult and youth will receive a prize listed below. 

  • Adult: One year pass for the Heritage Trail, or a free weekend of camping at a park of your choice, or maple syrup tapped from the trees at the Swiss Valley Preserve. 
  • Youth: Choice of one activity at either nature center. Including a guided snowshoe hike, nature center rental, or live animal show for you and up to 5 friends.

Contest Rules:

  1. There is a limit of three photos per person. 
  2. Photographs must be taken at any Dubuque County Conservation area or feature scenery, vegetation, wildlife, or activities that would normally be found in the parks.
  3. Photos may not be digitally altered beyond standard optimization. Alterations such as cropping or reasonable adjustments to exposure, color, and contrast are acceptable, but all photographs must accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared.
  4. Photographs featuring domestic animals, garden plants, and annual flowers are not eligible in the Birds, Other Wildlife, and Plants/Fungi categories.
  5. Landscape photographs may have contemporary, human-made objects (i.e. bridges, buildings, fences) or domestic plants or animals but they must not be the main focus of the picture.
  6. All photographs are equally eligible and count as one entry for the random prize drawing and one entry for the People’s Favorite Award in either the Youth (under 18) or Adult divisions. 
  7. Submitted photographs may be used, with photo credit, in publications and displays used by Dubuque County Conservation Board.
  8. This contest is for fun and prizes are modest.

*An amateur photographer is anyone who does not earn a significant amount of money as a photographer. We realize some amateur photographers have professional skills. Please use discretion in deciding if you should enter this contest. As a guideline, if you earn over $1,000 a year in photographic sales, you should not consider yourself an amateur for the purposes of this contest.

Prepare your photos:

Rename your photo to LASTNAMEFIRSTINIALSHORT DESCRIPTION example: (DOE,J,Bluff) 

Submit your photos here!