For more than 100 years, one of Missouri’s best options for fresh air has been a visit to a state park or historic site. The Missouri State Parks system is one of the finest in the U.S. It includes everything from the visually intriguing boulders at Elephant Rocks to the ruins at Ha Ha Tonka to the final resting spot of Missouri’s 22nd governor at Jewell Cemetery, one of 35 historic sites.
The parks — most of which are served by electric cooperatives — gave Missourians plenty of places to visit while staying socially distant this past year. More than 21 million visitors came to Missouri’s state parks in 2020, and we’re sure that most of them took a picture or two.
For the 11th consecutive year, Rural Missouri is honored to welcome Missouri State Parks back as the sponsor of the Missouri Snapshots Photo Contest. The park system highlights the natural beauty of our state and connects its great citizens and guests to the outdoors. The parks and historic sites preserve the state’s diverse cultural resources to be enjoyed by all. What’s best, they are free to visit thanks to the citizen-supported one-tenth of 1% sales tax.
Open to amateur photographers of all ages, this contest features five categories. All eligible photos must be entered online at www.ruralmissouri.org/photo-contest. The first-, second- and third-place photographs will be selected by a panel of judges and will be published in a 2022 issue of Rural Missouri. First-place winners will receive a Missouri State Parks Getaway Package valued at $500. Second- and third-place winners will receive Missouri State Parks gift cards valued at $100 and $50, respectively.
Photographs must be taken at a Missouri state park or historic site. Entries will be judged on sharpness, composition, lighting, creativity and adherence to the category’s theme. Deadline to enter is Oct. 31, 2021. Questions about the contest may be sent to email@example.com.
1. Making Memories – Watching your granddaughter reel in her biggest catch? Taking your son on his first hike? Watching the day pass by on a pontoon with your family? It’s not hard to make lasting memories with your loved ones at any of Missouri’s state parks or historic sites.
2. Capture the Beauty – Missouri’s state parks and historic sites are blessed with an abundance of natural beauty: rolling prairies, rugged hills and scenic rivers. Entries should capture scenes worthy of a postcard.
3. Hit the Trails – With nearly 1,000 miles of managed trails, Missouri’s state parks offer a perfect venue for your next hiking, biking, off-road or equestrian adventure. Entries in this category should feature scenes captured along a trail at a state park or historic site.
4. Discover the Past – From covered bridges and mills to the homes of famous Missourians, history is everywhere in Missouri’s state park system. Creatively photograph it and you could be a winner.
5. Dusk to Dawn – The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. From starry nights to late-evening hikes to s’mores around the campfire, show us your favorite family activities.
1. Photographs must be taken at one of Missouri’s state parks or historic sites. For a complete list of parks, visit www.mostateparks.com.
2. Photographs must depict activities that conform to Missouri State Parks rules and regulations such as keeping dogs on leashes and staying on the marked trails.
3. The contest is for amateurs only. If you earn any income with your photography, please refrain from entering. Up to five photos per category can be entered, but no more than 15 photos total.
4. Enter photos at: www.ruralmissouri.org/photo-contest.
5. Entries must include information in all data fields.
6. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond basic editing and toning will not be accepted.
7. Judges reserve the right to re-categorize entries.
8. Photographers may win no more than one first-place prize. Winning images from previous years’ Missouri Snapshots Photo Contests are ineligible.
9. Employees of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri’s electric cooperatives and their immediate families are ineligible to win.
10. By entering, photographers give Rural Missouri and Missouri State Parks permission to publish the images.