BRANDON — Only a couple of weeks remain to enter that shot of a white-tail deer slowly wandering through the pine flatwoods at Blackwater Creek Preserve near Plant City, the photo of a storm rolling in over Cockroach Bay or the one that captured a black-necked stilt running across a salt marsh at Wolf Branch Nature Preserve in Apollo Beach.
The deadline to enter photos for the 2014 ELAPP calendar is Sept. 27. The winning entries, which must have been taken on one of the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program properties, will appear in the calendar.
Once the deadline passes, the photos will be posted on the HillsboroughFL Facebook page and members of the public are invited to help choose the best photos by clicking “like” on their favorite. Prizes will be awarded to the most “liked” photos. Then, a panel of judges from the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department will select up to 25 percent of the photos that received the most votes to use in the calendar.
The idea is to get a broad representation of the county’s more than 60 ELAPP sites, all purchased with taxpayer money.
So far this year, ELAPP General Manager Ross Dickerson is receiving a lot fewer entries, he said, but the ones he is getting are very high quality.
“Last year, a lot of people sent in any shot they took with their iPhone. This year, we’re getting a really good variety and much, much better quality,” Dickerson said.
Entries must show some portion of one of the ELAPP properties and can show either landscapes or wildlife or both. The photos should be submitted as attachments to emails (not embeded in the email) and sent to ELAPPphotocontest@hillsboroughcounty.org.
“We need the highest resolution possible,” Dickerson said.
Again this year, the calendars will be free to the public. Dickerson said they will be handed out beginning in November through the county’s library system, at the County Center downtown and at county parks.