The Coast News Group
An aerial view of Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir (upper right) and Lake Hodges on the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Courtesy photo/SDCWA
CommunityCommunityCommunityEncinitasEscondidoRegionSan Marcos

Elfin Forest Reserve photography contest returns

ELFIN FOREST — The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is once again inviting amateur photographers of all ages to its Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve for the 17th annual amateur photography contest that will run from Nov. 18 to April 21, 2024.

“For 17 years, our contest has prompted visitors to capture Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s stunning beauty from their unique perspective,” said OMWD Board Director Marco San Antonio. “The contest promotes the importance of protecting wildlife habitat at the reserve so that future generations may also enjoy the many wonders it offers.”

Contest judges will be select winners in five categories: scenic view, water scenery, plants, animals and youth (photographers age 15 and under). There are also Best in Show and People’s Choice awards.

Winners are eligible for prizes donated by local businesses, including passes to the San Diego Zoo, EcoVivarium Reptile Sanctuary and the California Wolf Center, a canvas print from PC Photo and Imaging, outdoor equipment from REI and a $100 cash prize from the Escondido Creek Conservancy.

Winning images will be displayed at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty from July through December in 2024. The OMWD Board will honor contest winners at its June 19, 2024 board meeting.

Elfin Forest is a 784-acre reserve developed by OMWD in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority and the US Bureau of Land Management as an element of the Olivenhain Water Storage Project and the Authority’s Emergency Storage Project. The reserve’s 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails provide opportunities to photograph Escondido Creek, native plant communities, the Pacific Ocean, Channel and Coronado Islands and Laguna and San Bernardino mountain ranges.

Contest entries must feature the reserve as their subject or be taken within the reserve from any designated trail.

Visit for official contest rules and to upload a maximum of four contest entries. There is no entry fee.

Leave a Comment