Skip to main content

Cottonwood Heights Journal

Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest calls for entries

From the bighorn sheep of Zion National Park to the countless shorebirds of the Great Salt Lake to the backyard chickadees, Utah residents encounter wildlife on a regular basis. No matter how each person interacts with wildlife in the state, Celebrate Utah Wildlife wants to hear about it. 

The Utah Wildlife Federation and mural artist Chris Peterson will hold the first Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest this spring with 63 cash prizes for people ranging in age from 4 to 104.  It’s as simple as writing a story, taking a picture or making a video.

“There are a lot of ways to celebrate our experiences with wildlife. We want people from across the state to show us how the wild inhabitants of our state inspire you or your family,” Peterson said. “Entries from this contest will become part of an exhibit that will go on tour across the state. It’s all meant to show how we connect with wildlife in Utah.”

More than $10,000 in cash prizes will be handed out in the form of $250 awards for first-place and dozens more for the best submissions across three age groups: children (ages 4-11), teens (ages 12-17) and adults (18 and up). Entries will be judged on four criteria: Utah wildlife-inspired, originality, artistic merit/craftsmanship (in relation to entrant’s age) and artist statement. Only submissions made by current Utah residents are eligible.

Submissions must be inspired by Utah-wildlife experiences in any of the following categories: handmade art (2D, 3D, mixed media etc.), digital art, writing and stories, photography, videography, music, spoken word, sound, digital storytelling and animation. Entries must be submitted by May 10, 2023 to be considered.

The Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest is made possible, in part, with funding from the Hansen Sisters Foundation and the Utah STEM Action Center. The digital art and digital storytelling categories are funded through a community impact grant from the center.

“Utah’s wild creatures need to be celebrated for all the wonder, awe and smiles they bring to our faces,” said Brett Prettyman, chair of the Utah Wildlife Federation board. “We hope by seeing how others celebrate our wildlife that more people will be inspired to get out and create their own experiences.”

The goal of the Utah Wildlife Federation is to bring the diverse voices of this unique state

together to create a cohesive goal in securing the future of wildlife and outdoor recreation, while providing the best practices to steward natural resources for generations to come. By crowd-sourcing wildlife content, the Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest will demonstrate the range and diversity of animal life in Utah. 

Peterson is working to get wildlife murals displayed in all of Utah’s 29 counties, as part of the Utah Wildlife Walls Project. The project’s goal is to connect residents with Utah’s wildlife through prominent murals in each county. Launched in the fall of 2022, the Utah Wildlife Walls project’s first piece was a 120-foot mural of a Bonneville cutthroat trout, painted on a building in Sugar House.  

For more information about the Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest and the Utah Wildlife Walls project, visit λ