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Native plant and tree photo contest open to all ages

Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) invites photographers of all ages and abilities to submit their photos for the 2014 Native Plant & Tree Photo Contest.

"This is a great opportunity for people to discover, explore, and learn about native plants that grow around the Brainerd lakes area and photograph the progression of plants and trees from spring to fall," said Beth Hippert, district technician.

"Top 12 entries will be featured in a monthly Facebook post and receive a gift certificate for the 2015 SWCD tree and plant sale, good for a six-pack of wildflowers or grasses," said Melissa Barrick, district manager.

Eligible plants and grasses for the photo contest include: common strawberry, fireweed, great blazing star, little bluestem, new england aster, obedient plant, oxeye sunflower, prairie cordgrass, prairie dropseed, sneezeweed, stiff tickseed, wooly sedge, zig zag goldenrod.

Eligible trees and shrubs: bush honeysuckle, red-berried elderberry, serviceberry/juneberry, white spruce, yellow birch.

To participate, email photos to tasha.lauerCrow Wing SWCD, 322 Laurel St., Suite 13. Brainerd, MN 56401.

Deadline is Aug. 29.

Entries must feature one of the eligible species of native plants listed above, or be native to this area, to be eligible.

Entries must be original work that is property of the person who submits the photo.

Label each entry with photographer's name, county where photo was taken, and name of the plant. One entry per specie, limit of five entries per person.

Submit photo by email in digital format, 300 dpi or 6 Megapixel, jpg format preferred.

Trademarks, commercial names, or advertisements may not appear in the photos.

Entry will imply consent to use photos for SWCD promotional activities.

Photos will be judged on shot composition, clarity, and the inclusion of stems, leaves, and flowers.

Extra points will be awarded for shots that include wildlife.

Area Master Gardeners will judge photos, according to the guidelines listed above.