Artist Opportunity: Friends of Heinz Refuge Photo Contest

Posted On July 9, 2010

Filed under Opportunities

Comments Dropped 3 responses

The Friends of The Heinz Refuge Photo Group, supporters of The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, wants your wildlife photography. Their 10th Annual Photo contest urges residents to get up and get outdoors by showcasing images of nature taken by local photographers.

“One of the big pushes for the fish and wildlife service right now is to get people—particularly younger people—to connect with nature,” says Bill Buchanan, public affairs and Audio Visual specialist for FOHR. “Wildlife photography is a great way to do that.”

Wait, wildlife photography? in Philly?

Of course we all know Fairmount Park, the largest public urban park system in the country, but few of us know about Heinz Refuge, a slice of pristine habitat tucked inside the asphalt, boundary of Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

Our nation’s most urban wildlife refuge and Pennsylvania’s largest freshwater tidalmarsh (a complex ecosystem supporting many levels of life), Heinz Refuge is a prime location for wildlife photography.  It’s stomping grounds for over 300 migratory bird species, up to 90 nesting species, and a pair of nesting bald eagles. It also boasts sightings of deer, fox, muskrats, river otter and the state-endangered red-bellied turtle. With five different habitats—impounded water (ponds), freshwater tidal marsh, fields, woods, and valley streams—Heinz provides material for both telephoto and scenic work.

But submissions aren’t restricted to Heinz Refuge subjects. In fact, you can send in any image of wildlife, so long as you, the photographer, are based in Greater Philadelphia. Submissions must be color or black and white, unaltered prints, mounted, matted and unframed. A contest for small cash prizes will be held among submissions with a 12 and under division, a 13 and up division, and an Adult division. Wining entries will be displayed at the refuge.

On the fourth, I rode my bike from my home in South Philly to the Heinz Refuge and took pictures. While I have embarrassingly little experience with photography (I don’t even own a camera. I had to borrow my sister’s old, malfunctioning, digital Cannon), the beauty of this place shown through. Heinz Refuge, once a 5,700-acre wetland, has dwindled down to a mere 200 acres and it has been the action of local citizens that has kept the area from disappearing. Please consider supporting the FOHR by submitting your work. Visit and download an application. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.

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John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard
Hours, directions, bird watching tour schedules and educational events also available on the above website. Accessible by car, bike and public transportation.


3 Responses to “Artist Opportunity: Friends of Heinz Refuge Photo Contest”

  1. onewolf

    I never heard of Tinicum/ John Heinz until I was an adult…it really is one of our lesser known gems. It’s one of the more surreal locations: formerly owned by the oil industry, a visitor to this site walks on the path which is a dike, so there’s no turns, which is strange and kind of disconcerting in and of itself. But add into the swampy setting the highway (95), the airport (planes landing and taking off constantly), and the oil containers – in sum this becomes an industrial swamp complete w/ huge fish and a ton of frogs and turtles…and I can’t say I’ve ever experienced it’s equal. Thanks for posting…

  2. Nicole

    Awesome article – who wrote it??

  3. onewolf

    Dana! Hmm guess she needs a by-line.

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