Columbia Parks and Recreation announces photo contest winners

Friday, April 23, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Grand-prize winner Kelly Smith, 31, shot this photo of her husband Ryan and her 6-year-old son Ben at a bridge on the Hinkson Creek Trail. Smith, director of Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson City, said photography is a stress relief. "I can't draw or paint or anything like that," she said. "It's my own way to express myself."

COLUMBIA — Trickling waterfalls, vibrant wildlife and happy park users; the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department hoped to capture images of these and more through a photo contest that ended March 1.

The contest, which attracted more than 250 entries, asked photographers to take photos of landscapes or people in Columbia's parks. The contest was divided into five categories: Parks and Recreation Facilities; Trails; Recreation Programs, Sports, Events and Classes; Faces and Activities; and Landscape, Wildlife and Nature.

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Contest winners

Grand-Prize Winner

Kelly Smith, 31, Director of Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson City

First-Place Winners

Parks and Recreation Facilities: Randy Hughes, 47, quality technician for JM Eagle

Trails: Lisa Fechter, 41, doctors office manager

Recreation Programs, Sports, Events and Classes: Colleen McDevitt, former Missourian photographer

Landscape, Wildlife and Nature: Rick Hansen, wildlife biologist for U.S. Wildlife Reserve

Faces and Activities: Rhiannon Trask. The Missourian was unable to reach her for comment.

Another contest opportunity

Photo enthusiasts can participate in another city-sponsored photo contest. Columbia Public Transit is hosting a photo contest in honor of the Wabash Station's 100-year-anniversary.

The contest flier states, "We invite all photographers 18 years and older, both amateur and professional, to help us celebrate the 100th Anniversary by sharing your best original photos taken of the historic Wabash Station or of the city buses or riders."

The contest runs until June 25. Visit the Columbia Public Works Department's Web site for more details.

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The winners in each category, as well as the grand prize winner, were announced at last week’s Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

Kelly Smith, a 31-year-old Jefferson City resident, said her family enjoys visiting Columbia's trails on nice days. She shot the grand prize-winning photo, an image of her husband and son walking near dusk on a bridge on the Hinkson Creek Trail.

"I thought it'd be interesting to see if anyone else enjoyed the picture as much as we do," Smith said.

Randy Hughes, 47, of Columbia said he's going to spend his prize money on a new lens for his Olympus E510. He won $175 cash and a $175 Parks and Recreation gift certificate for his photos. Hughes placed four times in two categories.

Parks department spokeswoman Tammy Miller was pleased but surprised to see so many entries. She said the quality of the photos made it hard for her and the other judges to pick winners.

“It was an enjoyable process but a difficult one," Miller said.

The photos will be used on the city's Parks and Recreation website and in promotional materials, Becky Stidham of the department said. Participants retain ownership of their pictures and will be credited whenever they're used.

The contest, which was held to celebrate 60 years of "Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs," was sponsored by the Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs, Grindstone Digital Imaging, Creative Photo, Deck the Walls and the Activity & Recreation Center.

The department expects to host another contest next year.

For additional photos and winners, go to the Parks and Recreation's contest Web page.

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Jason Entermyer April 23, 2010 | 9:09 a.m.

Well done Parks & Rec. What a great bunch of photos. Judges sure did have their hands full picking from these.

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