We can use your help

Tax deductible contributions to the Green Ribbon Initiative will be used to support education and stewardship work in the Oak Openings Region.

To donate to the Oak Openings Habitat Protection and Restoration Fund, click here.

To donate to the Oak Openings Carbon Offset Fund, click here.

To make a general donation to the Green Ribbon Initiative, click on the donate button below. These funds will go to:


Donate via PayPal

2023 Blue Week Photo Contest

The Green Ribbon Initiative (GRI) is committed to revitalizing the human and natural communities of the Oak Openings Region. For the annual Blue Week Photo Contest, we want to learn what the Oak Openings region means to you. Why is it worth protecting? How does living, working, or playing here add to the quality of your life? We are excited to see our favorite natural areas through your eyes!

The Oak Openings Blue Week Digital Photo Contest is open to amateur photographers of all ages who earn less than 51 percent of their income from photography.

Entries will be accepted from 12:00am on April 15, 2023, through 11:59pm on May 21, 2023.

Entry Period EXTENDED! Entries will be accepted through 11:59pm June 2, 2023.

Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible.


  1. Entry fee is $5 per photo. Payment instructions can be found in the “How to Enter” section, below. The fee is waived for youth (persons under 18 years of age).
  2. Photos must be taken within the last 5 years and all photos submitted must be taken within the Oak Openings Region. To see an outline of the Oak Openings Region, scroll to the bottom of this webpage. You must provide a location with each submission.
  3. Entries may originate in any format but must be submitted electronically as a .JPEG, .jpg, or .png file. No physical photos will be accepted. Please submit files no larger than 20MB at the time of entry. Should higher quality versions be needed, GRI will contact you directly.
  4. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color, and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.
  5. No name, title, date, or text is to be on the photos. An ID label will be attached to identify the photographer and title after judging.
  6. A photo may be entered in only one category. GRI reserves the right to reassign entries to the proper category.
  7. Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent, political, or other objectionable or inappropriate content are ineligible. GRI shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.
  8. Photos that involve harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, or putting animals or humans in danger are ineligible. GRI shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.
  9. If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary permission from the individuals depicted.
  10. GRI and its partner organizations have the right to use all photos for informational and promotional purposes with photographer credit.

Your entering this contest signifies your acceptance of all terms and rules of the contest.

A: Oak Openings Native Plants (plants native to the Oak Openings Region are the main subject)
B: Oak Openings Wildlife (wildlife native to the Oak Openings Region is the main subject, including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, etc.)
C: Oak Openings (Human) Communities (photos that showcase the ways you, your community, or neighbors share their appreciation and value for nature)
D: Oak Openings Biodiversity (photos that illustrate the joys and beauty that diversity offers)
E: Youth in the Oak Openings (photos celebrating the Oak Openings Region that were taken and submitted by youth)

All image files must be no larger than 20MB, must be in .JPEG, .jpg, or .png format, and must be e-mailed to oakopenings@tnc.org. Each photo should be in its own e-mail. You must include your name as you want it to appear with your photo, your e-mail address, your phone number, and the following information for each photo that you submit:

  • Please include “2023 Photo Contest” in the subject line of your email
  • Title of the photo
  • Category in which you are entering the photo
  • Place where the photo was taken
    • General Location (ex: Petersburg State Game Area)
    • Detailed Location (ex: trail east of Example Road)
    • City and State
  • Detailed caption of the subject matter

The entry fee is $5 per photo (excluding youth). The fee may be paid online or by check. You may pay for all your entries in a single transaction.

Online: Click the “Donate” link below to access our secure online payment form and donate $5 times the number of photos you are entering. In the box marked “Add special instructions to the seller”, please type “Photo Contest”.


By Check: Make checks payable to “Oak Openings Region Conservancy – Green Ribbon Initiative”, write “Photo Contest” on the memo line, and mail to:

Oak Openings Region Conservancy – Green Ribbon Initiative
P.O. Box 183
Holland, OH 43528

Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and subject matter relevance to the Oak Openings Region. Judging will be conducted by a panel of guest judges to be selected by GRI. The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and pick one Best of Show winner, one winner in each category, and will select one honorable mention in each category.

The Panel will facilitate a social-media-based contest in which the public will select the People’s Choice winner from the honorable mentions. GRI will notify winners via the contact information they provided at the time of entry.

Winners will be announced in the Oak Openings June 2023 e-newsletter. Prizes will be awarded to one Best of Show, five category winners, and one People’s Choice winner.  Prizes will include a photo feature in the GRI Newsletter and on the GRI website, one print of your winning photo, and GRI swag!

When you enter, you will automatically become subscribed to GRI’s e-mail list. This includes special event invitations and a monthly e-newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be e-mailed to brittani.furlong@tnc.org.



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