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Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Photo Contest

Macott Woodsy Owl standing a a group of people out in nature

Photo credit: Woodsy Owl Photo by Penny Vanderhyden

Midewin mascot Woodsy Owl will turn 50 on September 15, and amateur photographers can enter to win a chance at seeing their work adorn the cover of the 2022 Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Conservation Education Schedule booklet. Entries for the Woodsy Owl & Friends 50th Birthday Photo Contest and Mobile App Challenge are being accepted through August 31.

iNaturalist is a free smartphone app for iOS and Android. Each participant can enter up to four photos of native Illinois prairie species—owls, pollinators, plants and more—with information about the species pictured to the “Woodsy Owl and Friends” Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie database. Photos should be named using this format: category - initials - title or subject. Each photo, which must be accompanied by a completed and signed U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service consent form, can only be entered in one category.

The first 30 contributors will receive a Woodsy Owl smartphone cover and handle. Finalists will be announced at a virtual Woodsy Owl 50th Birthday Party at 6 p.m., September 15.

Consent form available at To register for the virtual birthday party, email [email protected]. For more information, visit