The Valley Land Fund will be kicking off their youth and adult Wildlife Photo Contest this summer. Through the generous support provided by the Robert L. Townsend Endowment Fund, all ages will have opportunities to win cash prizes.

Held since 1994, the contest provides an opportunity for photographers local and around the world to share the wonders of our brush country with thousands of people.

President, Jim Tabak is pleased to announce that the Valley Land Fund is working in association with two organizations who will assist in carrying out the contest in order to attract even a great number of participants. The end goal is for beginner to advanced photographers, from ages 6 and up, to share their vision of our natural heritage in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Youth Photo Contest was awarded to Quinta Mazatlan, under the McAllen Parks & Recreation Department. Colleen Hook, Manager, states “Our sanctuary is dedicated to benefit children and wildlife so we are very excited to offer this program free to children this summer”. Hook continues, “We’d like to encourage scout, school, camp, home and other groups to submit photographs from Roma to SPI.”

The youth contest titled “SOUTHERN EXPOSURES” will take place from June 5 to July 30. Entry is FREE and children may submit photographs anytime during the two month period. The Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of August 19 at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen. The Age Divisions are 6-9, 10-13 and 14-18 years of age. Youth are invited to submit photos in any or all of the eight categories including birds, mammals, other wildlife, connecting people & nature, landscapes & plant life, humor, water supports wildlife, and digital photo art.

There will be over 50 winners with cash prizes and more. All entrants will receive a free t-shirt. Free workshops will be held throughout the summer to help the children with “Photography Tips” from some of the best wildlife photographers in the industry. Please call 956-681-3370 or visit www.quintamazatlan.com under the tab “Youth Education” for a calendar, registration form and more information.

The Adult Photo Contest was awarded to Photo Bound Tours. Ruth Hoyt, President, has named the contest the “South Texas Pro Classic,” which takes place on public and privately-owned property in the eight southernmost counties of Texas. The contest is geared toward, but not limited to, professional photographers. Photos must be taken from June 1-July 31, 2010. A special division of the contest allows participants to enter photos taken from Jan. 1, 2008 through July 31, 2010. There is a Photographer Entry Fee for the Adult Photo Contest. A pre-contest photographer’s meeting has been scheduled for 2:00 pm on May 22 and May 23 at Bentsen State Park. Interested participants may attend either meeting. Further information about the Adult Photo Contest and related events can be obtained by contacting Ruth Hoyt by phone (956-330-2900) or e-mail: ruthhoyt@hotmail.com.

Both the Youth and Adult Wildlife Photo Contests combine economics, art, education and conservation into a meaningful event. The Valley Land Fund’s mission is to preserve, enhance and expand the native wildlife of the Rio Grande Valley. We’re calling on all photographers from ages 6 on up to share the valley through your eyes! Get outdoors this summer and have fun with the camera!