PEC Accepting Annual Photo Contest Submissions Through Sept. 30

landscape shot of rural farmland and mountains
Photo by Cassidy Girvin, 2022 winner

Virginia Piedmont, VA. (Sept. 5, 2023) – Now through September 30, professional and amateur photographers alike are invited to submit their best images of the beautiful Virginia Piedmont in The Piedmont Environmental Council’s 12th Annual Photo Contest. Submissions must be taken within Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock counties, and the City of Charlottesville.

This year’s contest categories are: Beautiful Landscapes, capturing the beauty of the diverse landscapes across that nine-county region, from scenic town- and city-scapes to unforgettable vistas of forests, farms, mountains, rivers, and more; Native Plants and Fungi, showcasing the plants and fungi native to our region, from the backyard pollinator plot to the towering forests of Shenandoah National Park; and Wonderful Wildlife, offering glimpses of the incredible creatures that call the Piedmont’s lands and waters home. In the Youth Category, for photographers 17 years old and younger, submissions can feature landscapes, streetscapes, wildlife, farms, or anything connected to the environment here in the Piedmont. Photographers can submit up to five images in each category.

“Pictures taken through lenses of the people who live and visit the Virginia Piedmont offer the very best stories of this region’s vibrant life and lands that support it. The images that local photographers submit into this contest each year help us connect people to this wonderful place in a way we couldn’t do on our own,” said Hugh Kenny, PEC’s multimedia communications specialist and contest coordinator.

PEC staff and guest judges will select finalists in each category in October, and a public judging period to determine the winners will follow. All finalists will receive a one-year PEC membership and have their work featured in PEC’s upcoming online and print publications. Winners in each adult category will receive a $75 gift certificate to a “Buy Fresh Buy Local” participating restaurant, while the youth category winner will have the choice of a $75 gift card for a Buy Fresh Buy Local restaurant or Amazon.

For full contest details and instructions, visit For questions about the contest, photographers should contact Hugh Kenny at

2022 photo contest winners were (downloadable links included):

  • In the category of Beautiful Landscapes: Cassidy Girvin, of Charlottesville, for “Sunset Casts a Warm Glow.” Caption: “Sunset casts a warm glow over Crozet at the peak of fall foliage.”
  • In the category of Native Plants and Wildlife: Joshua Rector of Upperville in Fauquier County, for “Spotted.” Caption: “A short-eared owl hides amongst the tall grasses only to be given away by its bright, yellow eyes in a field in Fauquier County.”
  • In the category of Local Farms and Food: Dorothy Kray of The Plains in Fauquier County, for “A Mother’s Love.” Caption: “A Texas Longhorn who adores her calf in The Plains, VA.”
  • In the Youth Category: Simon Wray of Crozet in Albemarle County, for “Raccoon Scaling a Tree.” Caption: “A Raccoon scales a tree in the woods in Crozet, VA.


Hugh Kenny, Multimedia Communications Specialist
The Piedmont Environmental Council; 540-347-2334, x7024

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) works to protect and restore the lands and waters of the Virginia Piedmont, while building stronger, more sustainable communities. Founded in 1972, PEC is a locally based, community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit and accredited land trust. At the core of PEC’s approach is a focus on educating, engaging and empowering people to effect positive change in their communities.