Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How much do you love the Wood River Valley?

Submit to the 4th annual Heart of the Valley contest

Express Staff Writer

?Trail Creek Beaver Ponds? by Jeff Hanson. This photo won the ?Staff Favorite? award in the photography division at the 3rd annual Wood River Land Trust Heart of the Valley Contest.

The Wood River Land Trust's fourth annual Heart of the Valley contest is seeking work from the valley's finest amateur writers and photographers. Submissions should be sent to Wood River Land Trust by Friday, Nov. 16. Guidelines are available at or call 788-3947.

This year the contest is looking for work that explores the fundamental elements that set the Wood River Valley apart from other mountain communities through essays, poetry, memoirs, short stories and photographs.

"This is the place we call home," said Heather Kimmel, program and membership coordinator for the Wood River Land Trust. "We hope some of the reasons that set this valley apart will be captured in people's writing and photography submissions."

The fundamental elements that give the Wood River Valley its unique identity can range from the local produce that keep people healthy to people and places that inspire residents, whether it is wildlife or jaw dropping vistas.

"There is a real sense of community here," Kimmel said. "People really do rally around people here. We really can't be successful in our work unless the people in the community are involved."

Last year there were 25 photographs and 45 writings submissions. This year Kimmel is expecting more.

"We want the contest to grow every year," Kimmel said. "The greater number of participants we have the more the quality of the work increases."

The contest images will be on display at Images of Nature Gallery in Ketchum and will be on exhibit for the Friday, Dec. 28, Gallery Walk. In addition, the success of last year's writing winners' presentations at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum has led to an expanded series for this year.

The Wood River Land Trust Heart of the Valley contest is sponsored by Bank of America. Iconoclast Books, Sturtevant's Mountain Outfitters and Patagonia have generously provided prizes.

The Wood River Land Trust is a regional nonprofit organization that protects and restores lands, waters and wildlife habitat in the Wood River Valley and surrounding areas. It works cooperatively with private landowners and local communities to ensure these areas are protected now and for generations to come.

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