New York State publicizes Outside Picture Contest winners | Native Bulletins


ALBANY – The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today congratulated the winners of the 2022 Outdoor Photography Contest, which captured the best of New York’s natural beauty and special destinations state campgrounds and parklands. The online competition ran over the summer and fall seasons and generated 6,032 entries in six categories.

“With more than 6,000 stunning images submitted to this competition, it’s clear that visitors to our parks enjoy their time outdoors with family and friends and are keen to share those special memories,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “Congratulations to our winners and to all participants who have shown their artistry, perspective and generosity by documenting New York’s most beautiful natural landscapes and the fun adventures they discovered along the way.”

Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said, “Congratulations to all the photo contest winners who captured truly stunning images of New York’s unsurpassed natural resources. DEC and State Parks appreciate all New Yorkers who visit our state’s campgrounds, parks and wilderness areas to take advantage of their beauty and recreational opportunities, and we encourage outdoor enthusiasts to continue taking photos and sharing their unique natural adventures.”

The online contest was run in partnership with powered by Aspira, the state’s camping reservation system. The grand prize winner and six individual category winners are:

Grand Prize: Wendy Bouchard from Schenectady; “Sunrise of Bear Mountain Bridge”, Bear Mountain State Park. Bouchard was there before sunrise to snap a photo amid the fall colors.

Camping life: Alessandro Frati from New York City; “There’s always a first time” Mongaup Pond Campground. Frati is a first time camper at Mongaup Pond and has just started exploring the Catskills.

Seasonal Spectacle: Karen Millspaugh of Bergen; “Autumn Reflections”, Taylor Pond Campground. She was enjoying the quiet time surrounded by wildlife for this beautiful shot.

Action & Adventure: Kellie Olsen from Oneida; “Feel free!” Wellesley Island State Park. Her husband Mike enjoyed the freedom that the water brought.

Hiking: Diana Richards of Suffern; “Roxy Watches the Sunrise”, Storm King State Park. Roxy admires the view of Storm King.

Views and Perspectives: Courtney Bradt from Amsterdam; “Sunset at the Ruins”, Crown Point Campground. The photo expresses the majesty of the place.

Making Memories: Chris Robey from Tonawanda; “Evening Campfire”, Stony Brook State Park. Robey grew up in Stony Brook and passed his love of camping, boating and fishing on to his family.

Prize packages include a grand prize of a $1,000 REI Gift Card, a 4-person tent, a 2023 Empire Pass and a $250 NY Camping Gift Card; Six individual category winners will each receive a $250 REI Gift Card, a 2023 Empire Pass and a $100 NY Camping Gift Card. The winning images will be featured in the 2023 New York State Camping Guide and will be used alongside other submissions in nationwide promotions on social media, websites and print publications, and will be highlighted through seasonal marketing campaigns.

Photos were judged according to the following criteria: originality; artistic composition; technical quality; and whether the photo captures the best camping and outdoor activities in New York State Parks. The competition winning photos are featured with information on each image and photographer, and there is a gallery of submission highlights. Entries and all additional information regarding contest rules, eligibility and prizes are available at

Ross D. Levi, Empire State Vice President for Development and Executive Director of Tourism, said, “New York State is home to some of the most scenic outdoor scenery, from dynamic Niagara Falls to the majestic Adirondack Mountains and the serene tranquility of Montauk Point. I LOVE NY recommends countless campgrounds and our network of incredible state parks as great ways to reconnect with nature on an outdoor vacation and congratulates the 2022 Outdoor Photo Contest Winners.”

Graham Ballbach, President, Parks & Wildlife at Aspira said: “Congratulations to all the winners! Aspira is proud to have managed over 6,000 photo entries and stories of individuals and their families seeking a connection to the lands of New York State. These winning photos will inspire people to explore and preserve the unique outdoor recreation opportunities across the state.”

New York State Parks operates more than 250 state parks, historic sites, launches, and nature centers, including 68 campgrounds with 8,300 campsites and 900 cabins and cottages in 11 park regions. DEC operates 52 campgrounds and four day-use areas in the state’s Adirondack and Catskill Parks with 6,200 campgrounds., operated by Aspira, is a leading provider of campground reservations and park management solutions in the Empire State and across North America, facilitating millions of transactions each year. Campground and cabin reservations are accepted one day to nine months prior to the scheduled arrival date by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or online at

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