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 2016!

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Frances DePhillips

GRAND PRIZE WINNER & WINNER GRADES 7-8 

Caption: Colors of Nature

Student: Frances DePhillips

School: Sage International School, Boise

Teacher: Mimi Newstadt

Statement:

The organic lines and edges of the tree trunk represent the many shapes and forms that nature displays. The natural oranges and greens on the tree are just some of the many examples of art that nature creates. When exploring nature and looking closely at the smallest of details you will notice beauty that you never knew was even there.

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Thomas Blackmore

WINNER GRADES 5-6  

Caption: Water fall over a tree

Student: Thomas Blackmore

School: Mt. Hall Elementary School, Bonners Ferry

Teacher: Lyndsay Hart

Statement:

Trees play an important role in the forest watershed.

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Cody Allred

WINNER GRADES 9-12  

Caption: Summer Relief

Student: Isabelle DeVries

School: Council High School, Council

Teacher: Sharon Parker

Statement:

When it rains in the forest it can create a wondrous scene like no other. Everything is rejuvenated and brought to life once more. The beauty of rain is special in itself. This scene is shown in this photograph. Even a small maple leaf is refreshed from this warm summer rain, and everything is set aglow. It shows that when you look to the forest, you see more than just towering trees, you can see nature at its most powerful.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 5-6

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Sky Reinhardt

Caption: This is a fence line in Boundary County

Student: Sky Reinhardt

Grade: 6

School: Boundary County Middle School, Bonners Ferry

Teacher: Jaak Sanders

Statement:

I think this photo supports the theme of “look to the forest” because it shows how forest products have been helping farmers and ranchers raise livestock for the past 150 years. I took this photo one cold January morning when the rising sun lit the Hoar Frost ablaze.

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Kate Stevens

Caption: Beautiful Blossoms

Student: Kate Stevens

Grade: 6

School: Sage International School of Boise

Teacher: Kristin Gnojewski

Statement:

Right outside my house is this plant that has bountiful, bright, yellow blossoms.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 7-8

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Sammy Barnett

Caption: Lonely Log

Student: Sammy Barnett

Grade: 8

School: Anser Charter School, Garden City

Teacher: Allyson Maynard

Statement:

When you look into the forest, you walk down the river to see a lonely log. A log that is different from everything around it. Long, round and fat. A log that is slowly waiting to be carried away by the blanket of the waves leading to a new life.

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Grace Carter

Caption: Going places

Student: Grace Carter

Grade: 7

School: Middleton Middle School, Middleton

Teacher: Janine Remington

Statement:

I love this photo because it shows the growth of a tree. Up the trunk, and sprouting into hundreds of beautiful branches.

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Grace Carter

Caption: A rainy winter afternoon

Student: Grace Carter

Grade: 7

School: Middleton Middle School, Middleton

Teacher: Janine Remington

Statement:

Some people think that rainy days are dull, but I think that if you go out and look at nature you can really see the beauty of a tree on a rainy day.

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Katie Tidwell

Caption: Tiny Treasure

Student: Katie Tidwell

Grade: 8

School: Lowell Scott Middle School, West Ada Dist.

Teacher: Kate Baker

Statement:

There are many vast forests in Idaho. These forests are home to majestic trees, rivers, animals, and much more. Sometimes, the most stunning things in the forests are the smallest things, such as this tiny wildflower. The rain drops give it a precious feeling of beauty that can only be found inside the Earth’s dazzling forests.

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Samantha Ulam

Caption: Sunset Shadows

Student: Samantha Ulam

Grade: 8

School: Middleton Middle School, Middleton

Teacher: Janine Remington

Statement:

Many times you look at something and appreciate only the color of it. I have always loved much more than that, like the way a tree’s branches reach for the sky or how without color you can see the heart of a tree. Sometimes when you look at something without color, you see its true beauty.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

GRADES 9-12

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Ashlyn Adamson

Caption: Fallen

Student: Ashlyn Adamson

Grade: 10

School: Borah High School, Boise

Teacher: Debbie Chojnacky

Statement:

I chose this photo to represent the theme, Look To The Forest, because the photo shows bright colors of green forestry. Also, the fallen tree pops out because of all the bright green around it. Another reason why I chose this photo is because the tree is in a rule of thirds position that really makes the photo unique. I feel like I’m looking through the forest when I see this photo.

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Maya Appell

Caption: Coming of Autumn

Student: Maya Appell

Grade: 12

School: Sandpoint High School, Sandpoint

Teacher: John Hastings

Statement:

I took this picture of an oak tree in a park in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. While the theme is “look to the forest”, I think it is important to not exclude those who cannot access a forest without driving many miles. With increasing urbanization, it is important to not only enjoy the forest, but enjoy the parks and small preservations of nature easily provided to us. They may be small and contain almost none of the diversity that actual forests do but they should be appreciated nonetheless.

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Makynna Brant

Caption: Hike Into Light

Student: Makynna Brant

Grade: 10

School: Timberlake High School, Spirit Lake

Teacher: Phil Zimmerman

Statement:

This photo was taken on Tubbs Hill just before sunset. I really wanted to enhance the sun coming through the trees and just to show the overall beauty in nature.

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Stephanie Bremer

Caption: Nest of a bird

Student: Stephanie Bremer

Grade: 10

School: Timberlake High School, Spirit Lake

Teacher: Phil Zimmerman

Statement:

A bird’s nest is built in trees. They are beautiful and it is hard to take a photo from above. A bird once lived its summer days in this nest, maybe raising a family. The only place to find a nest is high in a tree. Trees are amazing. They are a living thing as well as birds and I believe they prefer to live in trees because it is high in the sky and they can see everything and know that they are safe.

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Rylie Frei

Caption: Pathway to Happiness

Student: Rylie Frei

Grade: 10

School: Mountain View High School, Meridian

Teacher: Sheila Boester

Statement:

I think people take for granted the beauty of Idaho and its wilderness. There’s nothing better than an Idaho sunset on the lake, and I wanted to capture that in a picture. The Anderson Ranch Reservoir was a perfect place to expose Idaho’s true potential.

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Aaron Fretwell

Caption: Stressless

Student: Aaron Fretwell

Grade: 12

School: Mountain View High School, Meridian

Teacher: Sheila Boester

Statement:

When I look to the forest I see…something that is hard to explain really, but when I look into the forest I feel without stress weighing down on my shoulders, it’s as if the stress is taken away by the beauty the forest has from the dirt ground to between the trees and the trees themselves. That’s why I named this photo stressless because at least when I look at it I feel without stress.

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Aaron Fretwell

Caption: Lonely Tree

Student: Aaron Fretwell

Grade: 12

School: Mountain View High School, Meridian

Teacher: Sheila Boester

Statement:

When I look at this tree I feel as if the tree feels lonely, because of the way it stands in the field being the only tree in football field distances, but at the same time I think if it could feel at peace without any problems. Without anything but itself and its leaves.

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Cy Griffin

Caption: Drifting

Student: Cy Griffin

Grade: 10

School: Liberty Charter School, Nampa

Teacher: Jackie Nelson

Statement:

A single leaf that has fallen from its tree and has drifted off into the water.

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Ruth Lee

Caption: Through The Window

Student: Ruth Lee

Grade: 11

School: Mountain View High School , Boise

Teacher: Sheila Boester

Statement:

I took this picture in Clayton, Idaho while my family and I were driving through. We passed many abandoned buildings and thought one would make for a great picture!!

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Ashkia Magoffin

Caption: Ice in the Soul

Student: Ashkia Magoffin

Grade: 12

School: Victory Charter HS, Nampa

Teacher: Jackie Nelson

Statement:

My photo portrays the beauty that can be found hidden in the most depressing times of life, like the inversion and fog that accompanies Idaho winters. This photo was taken during a 6-week inversion where the coldness of winter seeped into my soul. The beauty brought warmth back into it.

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Kara Mease

Caption: The Greater Perspective

Student: Kara Mease

Grade: 12

School: Capital High School, Boise

Teacher: Mark Rich

Statement:

How grateful I am for these masterpieces. As I appreciate and baffle at the sight of these grand creations, I not only see life and death in each rooted tree, but the circle of life… the purpose of life. It is here that I hiked through a forest to find a view as spectacular and imperfect in proportion as this. It reminds that life will not always be full or perfect, but as I see it with appreciation my view opens to a grander perspective. It is in this place that I see LIFE. I see death, yet I see hope. I see shadows, but I see light. I see disappointments, yet in it I see victory.

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Kimi Severson

Caption: Taken

Student: Kimi Severson

Grade: 9

School: Victory Charter HS, Nampa

Teacher: Jackie Nelson

Statement:

Although forest fires are very destructive, they provide a new opportunity to rebuild and become even stronger. Many fires take away the beauty of the trees but they soon become even prettier when they grow back than they were before.