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                                                                                          Show us, Autumn, through your lens! 

                                                         Join Chikaming Open Lands for a Fall Photo Contest at 11 of our local preserves.

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Please fill out a participation form to register for the #COLfallphotos contest.  

Link to registration form found Here.

Registration is free, please have one registration per household under one social media handle.

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Snap pictures at your favorite participating COL Preserves this autumn season. Share your adventures across Facebook and Instagram and tag us @chikamingopenlands using the hashtag #COLfallphotos. Photographers can submit as many pictures as they'd like through social media from October 1st-November 5th. Check out the list of qualifying COL Preserves below to learn more! 

           1. Burns Prairie Preserve

           2. Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve

           3. Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve

           4. Flynn Woods Preserve

           5. Galien River Marsh Preserves

           6. Grand Beach Marsh Preserves

           7. Jens Jenson Preserve

           8. Merritt and Younger Family Preserves

           9. Robinson Woods Preserve

         10. Sugarwood Preserve

         11. Turtle Creek Preserve

View our complete preserves page here.


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1. Photographers must be registered by November 5th to be officially entered into the contest.

2. Photos must be taken at one of the qualifying COL properties and posted on social media during the time frame of October 1st - November 5th with @chikamingopenlands tagged and using the hashtag #COLfallphotos. Make sure to include the location of the preserve in your posts.

3. Any photos submitted that contain a person/persons require photographers to obtain consent prior to submission. Chikaming Open Lands reserves the right to require photographers to submit evidence of the subject’s legal consent to be photographed for the submitted photo, which may include a signed waiver from the subject or the subject’s legal guardian or representative. The photographer is responsible for obtaining a legally enforceable waiver from any photographed person(s).

4. Photos should accurately represent the subject and the scene as it appears. Digitally altered photos beyond cropping, spotting for dust, color/contrast, and exposure adjustments, will not be considered. 

5. Have fun! We are excited to see your favorite parts of each preserve!


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Each week the top photos will be posted and credited on this page and across Chikaming Open Lands social media platforms. COL will judge each submission and 1 winner will be selected for each of the 11 preserves. The winners of the contest will be feature and credited on our website under the appropriate preserve page. 

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10/5- Fall Photography walk with Capture Studio's Mari Maloney. Click here for more information.

10/15- Stewardship day at Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve. Click here for more information.

10/27- Enchanted Forest at Robinson & Flynn Woods Preserves. Click here for details.

11/12- Stewardship Day at Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve. Click here for details.


Things to Note

Preserve Rules: Chikaming Open Lands currently has 11 properties open for public access across SW Michigan. Visitors can enjoy the preserves for free from dawn to dusk. Each preserve contains a wide variety of ecosystems that can be sensitive to off trail hikers, motorized vehicles, foraging, and campfires. These activities are not permitted on our preserves. Please make sure to only take pictures and Leave No Trace when visiting. Check out Our Preserves page to learn more.

Dog Policy: Dogs are permitted on preserve trails but must be on a 6 foot leash at all times. Please pick up after your pet.

Picture Policy: By submitting your photos, you give us permission to share them on our website, Instagram page, Facebook page, or in print materials. It is the photographers responsibility to obtain consent of any person(s) depicted in photo submissions. 


Commonly Asked Questions

What is appropriate hiking attire?

Wear sturdy hiking shoes as you may encounter uneven terrain and wet/muddy spots along the trails. Protect yourself from biting insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and ticks by wearing long pants, a hat/bandanna, and applying insect repellent. 


Are the Preserves only open on weekends? 

No, all Chikaming Open Lands properties with public access are open everyday from dawn until dusk.


Will there be staff at each of the Preserves?

Due to a limited number of staff, we will not be available at the preserves. Please contact the COL office at (269) 405-1006 with any questions or concerns. 


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                                                                                                         Photos coming soon!