Beat Coronavirus Blues With Photos: Will Co. Forest Preserve

Dave Byrnes

This article originally appeared on the Joliet Patch

WILL COUNTY, IL — The Will County Forest Preserve District announced Thursday that they it was launching a stay-at-home backyard photo contest for kids and adults stuck at home amid the coronavirus crisis. Animals, budding flowers or trees, bird feeders and any other signs of nature in springing of the year are all acceptable photo subjects. Pets, however, are not. Photo entries in the contest must have been taken after Governor Pritzker's 'stay-at-home' order went into effect on March 21, and must be submitted by April 7.

Sumbissions must be sent via the Forest Preserve District's website. The top three picks in the contest, which will be announced later this spring, will win $100, $50 and $25 gift cars for first, second and third place respectively.

Here is the Forest Preserve District's full announcement of the contest:

Beat boredom with Forest Preserve’s Stay-At-Home Backyard Nature Photo Contest

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has launched a special Stay-At-Home Backyard Nature Photo Contest to provide some boredom relief for people sheltering at home during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Any photos of nature taken in your backyard since the governor’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 21 will be eligible. Be on the lookout for animals, signs of spring, a swath of trees, a budding plant or a tiny creature emerging from winter’s grasp. Pictures of your pets (as cute as they are) aren't eligible for the contest, but backyard bird feeder action can be entered. Any camera will do, from DSLRs to smart phones. Photos must be taken in your yard or neighborhood between Saturday, March 21, and Tuesday, April 7, which is the current duration of the state's stay-at-home mandate. That could change, so the contest deadline could change too.

Participants have the chance to win gift cards valued at $100, $50 and $25 for first, second and third place finishes, respectively. Here are the basic rules:

Before submitting photos for consideration, please read all the rules at A panel of judges will select its favorite photos from the submissions. These photos will then be entered into the final judging, which will take place on the Forest Preserve’s Facebook page,, where public voting will determine the top three pictures.

The Forest Preserve’s annual Preserve the Moment Photo Contest, which had been scheduled to begin April 1, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and it will be rescheduled at a later date. Closure and cancellation updates are being posted online at under the Current Headlines section in News and Events.

To keep on top of the latest coronavirus news, subscribe to Patch news alerts and newsletters. The latest updates on the coronavirus situation can be found on this page.