To celebrate Arbor Day, the Idaho Forest Products Commission sponsored a photo contest. The competition was open to all Idaho students in 5th – 12th grades. Students were asked to show us what they see when they Look To The Forest. In addition to the photo, students provided a statement sharing their vision of how their photo relates to the contest theme, Look to the Forest. These are the results for 2015!

Michaela Johnson

Michaela Johnson

GRAND PRIZE WINNER & WINNER GRADES 9-12 

Caption: Feuille

Student: Michaela Johnson

School: Victory Charter School, Nampa

Teacher: Tawny Olsen

Statement:

Idaho’s forests are beautiful when viewed from a large perspective, but I believe it’s the small details that make them truly enchanting. For this reason, I decided to make the most intricate details, the veins of this leaf, the central focus.

Helen Kilgo

Helen Kilgo

WINNER GRADES 5-6 

Caption: Nature’s Living Paper

Student: Helen Kilgo

School: Sage International School

Teacher: Mimi Newstadt

Statement:

The forest is full of many kinds of trees. This Birch tree’s bark really stood out to me because it is full of beautiful colors and designs. I took this photo just outside of my school. In Idaho you can find trees everywhere. Trees provide beauty, life, and much more.

Close-up photo of pine cones

Taylor Lyle

WINNER GRADES 7-8 

Caption: Ground Floor Decorations

Student: Taylor Lyle

School: East Junior High School, Boise

Teacher: Jeannine Hall

Statement:

This piece of art is as delicate as the air you breath. Its natures way of having their own party.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 5-6

Julia Erway

Julia Erway

Caption: An Entanglement of Branches

Student: Julia Erway

Grade: 5

School: Homeschool, Boise

Teacher: Jeannie Erway

Statement:

When I saw this massive tree, I knew I had to take a picture of it. After studying it a while, I realized that the only way to capture it perfectly was to go under the tree, aim my camera up, and take a picture of the entanglement of branches.

Julia Erway

Julia Erway

Caption: The Crazy Caterpillar Tree

Student: Julia Erway

Grade: 5

School: Homeschool, Boise

Teacher: Jeannie Erway

Statement:

I think that the most beautiful part of a tree is the pine cones. I was walking around my neighborhood, when I spotted two pine cones that appeared to be white! When your looking for beauty in trees, you will never have to look far!

Pearl Udall

Pearl Udall

Caption: Look for the Light

Student: Pearl Udall

Grade: 6

School: Sage International School, Boise

Teacher: Mimi Newstadt

Statement:

Trees are the most magnificent creations on Earth. It is no wonder that many people are attracted to the beautiful places we know as forests, with their extraordinary contents. Trees can convey any mood. In this composition, I wanted to accomplish an air of mystery and the supernatural.

Adam Leveille

Adam Leveille

Caption: The Dog Goes “Bark”

Student: Adam Leveille

Grade: 6

School: Sage International School, Boise

Teacher: Mimi Newstadt

Statement:

This picture relates to the forest because there are many trees. There are also dogs in the forest, but back to the trees…this tree is very important because it can become anything…toothpicks, paper, seriously anything! Look around you, and see what you can find!

Kyradi Mitrov

Kyra Dimitrov

Caption: White Shadows

Student: Kyra Dimitrov

Grade: 6

School: Sage International School, Boise

Teacher: Mimi Newstadt

Statement:

This photograph shows the simplicity of nature, the lights and darks, the cruelness of Winter, how it takes away the leaves, and then Spring comes to lighten everything up. This photo is unique because it is like life: the foreground is blurry, but if you look ahead, it is clear and beautiful.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 7-8

Maria Schmidt

Maria Schmidt

Caption: A New Beginning

Student: Maria Schmidt

Grade: 8

School: Prairie High School, Cottonwood

Teacher: Renee Eckert

Statement:

I took this picture on a 4-wheeler trip from Dixie ID to Orogrande. The bear grass and blooming wildflowers were a sign of new life to me in a forest blackened by fire.

Owlet in a nest

Julia Wemhoff

Caption: Baby Horned Owl

Student: Julia Wemhoff

Grade: 8

School: Prairie High School, Cottonwood

Teacher: Renee Eckert

Statement:

My grandpa found this baby Horned owl witch fell out of its nest and landed under the tree in our windbreak. When I took the picture its mama was in the branch above me snapping at me warning me away. When I looked at her I saw she was a big Horned owl.

Samantha Ulam

Samantha Ulam

Caption: It’s a Big World

Student: Samantha Ulam

Grade: 7

School: Middleton Middle School

Teacher: Janine Remington

Statement:

My picture shows a forest in Idaho overlooking the Salmon River. To the human eye, it cannot always be seen as a home for many animals. “Look to the Forest” and if you look close enough, you may just see a thriving society of beautiful creatures.

Sammy Barnett

Sammy Barnett

Caption: Look at Me

Student: Sammy Barnett

Grade: 7

School: Anser Charter School, Garden City

Teacher: Allyson Maynard

Statement:

When you look into the forest, you see a squirrel. And for the first time in your life a squirrel wants to you to take a picture of him. He doesn’t want you to look at anything else except him. He is basically saying to you, “Look at me, look at me.” And you know you have to and when you do he gives you the best pose that you could ever imagine. And what he looks like he’s saying in the picture is. ” Look at me, look at me.”

Black and white tree

Levi Luck

Caption: The Beauty We Crave

Student: Levi Luck

Grade: 8

School: East Jr High School

Teacher: Jeannine Hall

Statement:

What would we do without our forests the rough bark extending high above. What would we do, without the soft flowers kissing our legs as we walk past what would we do If we couldn’t look to the forest, who would we be without its beauty?

Idaho forest with lake in the foreground

Addison Crowther

Caption: The Hidden Beauties We Find

Student: Addison Crowther

Grade: 8

School: Anser charter school

Teacher: Diane Williams

Statement:
This picture tells a story to me personally. When you look at it you see a gorgeous lake surrounded by a massive forest of trees. This forest stretched across dry mountain and rocky area. My mom, her friends, and I back packed windingly through these gorgeous trees and into this hidden beauty that I captured.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 9-12

Kylie Jenks

Caption: A Tree Isn’t Just a Tree

Student: Kylie Jenks

Grade: 11

School: Borah High School, Boise

Teacher: Debbie Chojnacky

Statement:

People look at a tree and they usually just see a tree, I see a home. A refuge. I see Life. (This photo was taken at Trinity Lakes in the Boise National Forest)

Kwan Woobaek

Kwanwoo Baek

Caption: An Everlasting Gift

Student: Kwanwoo Baek

Grade: 9

School: North Jr High School, Boise

Teacher: Johanna DeJong

Statement:

I took this photo to show that people are supplied with the gift of trees. They provide a clean environment, become shelter for animals, and more. In this photo, trees are noticeably helpful, whether they are alive or not. They are always pleasing us visually, physically, and environmentally.

Kayden Beus

Kayden Beus

Caption: Trees of Life

Student: Kayden Beus

Grade: 12

School: Marsh Valley High School, Arimo

Teacher: Amy Brown

Statement:

Being an adventurer and explorer, I admire the beauty that can be found in the forests of Idaho. This waterfall and surrounding greenery reminds me of why I want to preserve our forests, why I love the outdoors, and how natural beauty can exist anywhere.

Kayden Beus

Kayden Beus

Caption: Bridge to a Better World

Student: Kayden Beus

Grade: 12

School: Marsh Valley High School, Arimo

Teacher: Amy Brown

Statement:

We often times take for granted the forests and wildlife refuges that we have in Idaho. This bridge can represent the division that is forming between society and nature. This bridge crosses into a land full of adventure and excitement, but also a place of peace and safety. Lets go.

Kayden Pugh

Kayden Pugh

Caption: Hey there, buddy!

Student: Kayden Pugh

Grade: 12

School: Marsh Valley High School, Arimo

Teacher: Amy Brown

Statement:

When we look into the forest, what do we see? In this case, we look at friendly looking dragonfly who’s smile shows it is happy to see us! This picture fits well in the theme well because this friendly face reminds us of the peaceful and enlightening feelings that forests provide, as well as the discoveries hidden within them.

Look into the forest

Malia White

Caption: Home

Student: Malia White

Grade: 11

School: Mountain View High School, Boise

Teacher: Sheila Boester

Statement:

Growing up on a farm in the outskirts of Meridian I’ve become accustomed to the glorious Idaho sunsets, even though I never appreciated them for all that they are. I’ve traveled to other cities and states, and by habit looked for the sunset but was disappointed. Nothing compares to Idaho skies. I could stand there and look for hours at the sunset. It gives a feeling of safety and serenity. I am so lucky to be able to call such a beautiful state my home.

Human Nature

Sophie Owen

Caption: Human Nature

Student: Sophie Owen

Grade: 12

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia Thorpe

Statement:

In today’s society, most teenagers are too consumed by their phones that we rarely look at the world around us. We become numb to Mother Nature’s call, because we lost the compassion to care about the world that has held us through our entire lives. In my digital photograph, Human Nature, I captured the true form of the average teenager after he disconnects. My model’s eyes are closed because he doesn’t have to look around to see Mother Nature. He feels it. We have the trees within our bodies. The Earth runs through our veins. Tackling environmental issues such as pollution, Green House gasses, and the lack of clean water for all creatures of the world. Hopefully, with my photograph, you will feel a connection with the Earth as well, and look to the trees.

Jones Colby

Colby Jones

Caption: Magnificent Moose

Student: Colby Jones

Grade: 12

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia Thorpe

Statement:

I took this photo while exploring Idaho’s vast forests. Seeing wildlife like this in its natural habitat can strengthen our connection to our forests.

Madison Inouye

Madison Inouye

Caption: Memories

Student: Madison Inouye

Grade: 12

School: Coeur d’Alene Charter School

Teacher: Cindy Roth

Statement:

Forests provide a safe, lasting environment for people of all ages to enjoy. As they grow alongside us, trees have something to offer to everyone. Old couples stroll hand-in-handin their shade at local parks. Children climb their branches, mesmerized by their new perspective from above their friends’ heads. When I look to the forest, I see a lasting natural resource of fun and memories.

Madison Simboli

Madison Simboli

Caption: Mystical

Student: Madison Simboli

Grade: 10

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia Thorpe

Statement:

Ever since I was young my cabin has always been my favorite place to be. There is something about the forest, and trees it consists of, that is so peaceful and comforting to me. When I look to the forest I see a magical land of fresh air and awaiting adventures. Without trees and forests I would truly be lost.

Madison Inouye

Madison Inouye

Caption: New Season

Student: Madison Inouye

Grade: 12

School: Coeur d’Alene Charter School

Teacher: Cindy Roth

Statement:

When I look to the forest, I see growth. I see possibility. Every spring is a season of new life, new chances, and new beginnings. Just as we endure the fleeting passage of time, trees do as well. This picture encapsulates the journey of growth that trees must make – a fragile, but graceful journey not so different from our own.

Abbie Linford

Caption: Summer Storms in Atlanta, ID

Student: Abbie Linford

Grade: 11

School: Borah High School, Boise

Teacher: Debbie Chojnacky

Statement:

I think that this photograph captures everything that I feel when I think of the forest. I took this about five minutes after a rainstorm, which makes me think about how clean it is. The forest is vast and I feel like that is captured with the panorama. But most important to me, is the location of this picture. My family has always gone to the mountains for bonding, our favorite spot is Atlanta. We go so often we know the locals and it is my home. This picture takes me home.

carson_quinn_the_love_of_trees

Carson Quinn

Caption: The Love of Trees

Student: Carson Quinn

Grade: 9

School: South Jr High School, Boise

Teacher: Debbie Chojnacky

Statement:

I practically live in the forest and this is one of my favorite photos of the woods.

Yeajoon Cho

Yeajoon Cho

Caption: Natural Unison

Student: Yeajoon Cho

Grade: 11

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia Thorpe

Statement:

A forest resembles peace; a unison of man and nature. It proves as a place for thought, lending way for imagination to run rampant. It can serve as an inspiration for some, a source of material for others. Either way, forests prove to be a grey area, aiding many fundamental aspects of life.