Images from seven photographers were selected as the winners of the 16th annual Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve photo contest. The winning photos were recognized at the June 21 Olivenhain Municipal Water District board meeting.
The contest offers amateur photographers an opportunity to connect viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. Submissions support the reserve’s efforts to protect wildlife and natural resources.
The 784-acre reserve was developed by the water district (OMWD) in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority and the U.S. Department of the Interior – Bureau of Land Management in conjunction with the Olivenhain Water Storage Project and the Water Authority’s Emergency Storage Project. Opened in 1992, it is owned by the Water Authority and managed by OMWD. The reserve offers hiking and equestrian trails, mountain biking, wildlife and scenic viewing, and picnic areas.
Reserve’s natural beauty
“Our board is proud of Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, and this contest helps promote the recreational opportunities it offers and showcases the importance of protecting open space,” said OMWD Board Director Marco San Antonio. “Close to a hundred entries captured the natural beauty preserved and protected at the reserve.”
Winners were chosen in five categories: Scenic View, Water Scenery, Plants, Animals, and Youth (under 15 years of age). The reserve’s Facebook followers also selected a People’s Choice award winner by voting for their favorite among 11 entries posted online.
“Dewdrops” by Francis Bova – Best in Show
“Me-xal Overlook” by Jeff Shearer
“Reflection?” by Sabine Kurz-Sherman
“Color Bloom” by Jaena Reyes
“Night Heron” by Kay Wood
“Pond” by Lauren Berg
“Itsy Bitsy Momma” by Francis Bova – People’s Choice
Prizes included tickets donated by San Diego Zoo, a canvas print donated by PC Photo & Imaging, outdoor equipment donated by REI, and a $100 cash prize donated by Escondido Creek Conservancy.
Reserve visitors can view winning photographs through the end of the year at the Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty. The interpretive center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., subject to docent availability. Contact OMWD park rangers at 760-632-4212 for a current schedule. The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is at 8833 Harmony Grove Road near Escondido. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to approximately thirty minutes before sunset. Admission and parking are free. More information is available at www.olivenhain.com/efrr.
(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.)