On January 26, the PA Parks and Forests Foundation kicked off its 2021 Photo Contest which will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Environmental Rights Amendment to Pennsylvania’s Constitution. The deadline for entries is September 30.
Photographers are encouraged to look to the amendment for inspiration and to interpret the amendment through the lens.
“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”
“The Environmental Rights Amendment calls on the trustees of our shared public resources to conserve and maintain these resources for today and future generations,” said Marci Mowery, President of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation. “At the Foundation, we take this to heart. Our public lands are the shared resource of ALL Pennsylvanians and require public investments to ensure their viability for generations to come.”
The photo contest features multiple categories, each focusing on a different aspect of the Environmental Rights Amendment.
The categories include:
- Clean Air – What does “clean air” mean to you? Maybe it’s a blue clear sky? The night sky? The ability to see for miles and miles from that favorite vista? The ability to run or bike or hike for miles breathing in clean air?
- Pure Water – Lakes. Streams. Waterfalls. Pennsylvania has a lot of them. How about turning on the fountain to quench your thirst? What’s your favorite?
- Natural Value – For purposes of this category, the “natural value” of our environment is embodied by the birds and wildlife found there, the erosion that is controlled by tree roots, shade from a tree on a hot day.
- Scenic Value – We’ll call this the “knock our socks off” category! What scene through your camera’s lens took your breath away?
- Historic Value – Pieces of the past are still important to the present, and are vital to the future.
- Esthetic Value – Hard to pin down philosophically but let us focus here on the part of the definition of “aesthetic” that speaks to something’s “capacity to elicit pleasure.” Bring out your fun friends and family, simply enjoying what has been and is being saved for all of us.
- Young Photographers (ages 12 to 17 ) – What is a young person’s perspective on any of the above? We’d love to have a photo and your thoughts as well!
Photo submissions are due by noon on September 30th and must sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the complete rules, visit PPFF’s 2021 Photo Contest webpage.
For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter or tune in to their YouTube Channel. Click Here to become a member of the Foundation.
The Foundation and their 46 chapters mobilize 65,000 volunteers annually to steward YOUR state parks and forests.
NATURE NUGGET: On January 27, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources presented poll results to the Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council indicating four out of five Pennsylvanians who visited parks and trails believe that time spent outdoors is essential to their physical and mental health during the pandemic.
State park attendance increased from 37 million in 2019 to more than 46.9 million in 2020, a 26.6 percent increase.
DCNR saw an increase of 7.5 million users/visits to its website in 2020 over the previous year, including more than 4 million new users.
Pennsylvania state park and forest lands have remained open and accessible to all during the pandemic for outdoor recreation because of their importance to mental and physical health.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”