Shutterbugs who love taking nature photos can enter the City of Marion Tree Board’s Photo Contest.

The year-long competition, held in honor of Marion’s 30th Anniversary as being designated as a Tree City USA, is now accepting summer submissions and will continue taking seasonal submissions through June of 2020.

The Tree Board decided to hold the contest as a way to reach out into the community.

“A photo contest targets a much larger audience instead of, just say, an essay contest for public schools or a special annual calendar,” said Tree Board Chairman John Reese. “The Tree Board feels the contest will draw -- no pun intended -- more attention to our beautiful city trees. A lot of people do not know the background on our city trees and the reason why we need to maintain and treasure them.”

Residents of McDowell County and Marion are encouraged to submit their best photos of trees in the City of Marion from the past 30 years. Photographers can submit photos taken on public property and on private property. Entrants must get permission from property owners before submitting images taken on private property.

Tree Board Members John Reese and Dr. Beverly Watts, Tree Board City Representative Ann Harkey, McDowell Technical Community College Photography Instructor Blake Madden and Graphic Design Instructor Jay Perry will select seasonal winners and an overall winner for the contest.

All entries will be considered for posting in a gallery on the Tree Committee’s page on the City of Marion’s website.

Seasonal photo contest winners will be announced at the end of each quarter. Quarterly first-place winners will receive a gift certificate, a Tree Board t-shirt and stadium cup, and have their winning photo printed in The McDowell News. Second place winners will receive a Tree Board t-shirt and stadium cup. Third place winners will win a stadium cup.

The contest’s overall winner will be chosen in early July 2020. They will receive a gift card and have their winning photo printed in The McDowell News.

Winning images will also be used to create a photo collage that will commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Marion being designated as a Tree City USA and serve as an educational piece that the community can enjoy.

“The end game here is hopefully a professional montage that will be permanently displayed at either City Hall, the Community Building, or Depot for future generations to enjoy,” said Reese. “Future residents hopefully will continue the preservation, replacement and establishment of new city trees.”

Details about the contest can be found at www.marionnc.org.

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