Amateur photographers turned their lenses on skies and streams, coyotes and cactus, and overlooked details in nature to produce seven winning images in the 15th annual Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve photo contest. The winners were announced at the Olivenhain Municipal Water District February 2022 board meeting.
The seven photos are now on display in the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty through April 30, 2022. The Escondido Creek Conservancy contributed printing services to showcase one of the North County’s favorite hiking spots.
The contest’s goal is to promote the importance of open space and wildlife habitat preservation. Talented amateur photographers get an opportunity to share images of the natural beauty protected at EFRR through a partnership between OMWD, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the San Diego County Water Authority.
Supporting the mission to protect natural resources
Contest entries assist in educating the public on local recreational opportunities and support EFRR’s mission to protect wildlife and natural resources.
“I think we have all come to appreciate the outdoors and nature a little more during the pandemic,” said OMWD Vice President Kristie Bruce-Lane. “The beautiful scenes depicted in these winning photos shine a light on the importance of open space so that future generations can experience and enjoy it.”
Winners were selected in five categories: Scenic View, Water Scenery, Plants, Animals, and Youth (under age 15). The public also selected a “People’s Choice” award winner by voting for their favorite among 12 entries posted on EFRR’s Facebook page. One photo received the “Best In Show” designation as the top photo.
This year’s photo contest winners
Photographers received prizes including San Diego Zoo tickets, a 24″ x 36″ canvas print donated by PC Photo & Imaging, outdoor equipment donated by REI, and a $100 cash prize donated by Escondido Creek Conservancy.
The interpretive center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., subject to docent availability.
EFRR offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as picnic areas and scenic mountain viewing points. Open daily from 8 a.m. to approximately thirty minutes before sunset, EFRR is located at 8833 Harmony Grove Road in Escondido. Admission and parking are free. More information is available on its website.