National Park Service Announces 2014 "Spirit of the Mountains" Photo Contest

"Corazon del Matador" People's Choice Best Photo 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Jazan Kozma)Amateur photographers from all walks of life are encouraged to submit their favorite snaps for the National Park Service’s popular Spirit of the Mountains contest.

Entries may be submitted in person at the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center, 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, from Saturday, September 20th until Saturday, October 11th.

“As in past years, anyone can participate in the contest by submitting a matted print,” said National Park Service ranger and contest coordinator Sheila Braden.

A highlight of the contest is critiquing by professional judges of all winning entries, to be held at the photo exhibition opening at 2 p.m. on November 2nd. All entries will be on display November 2-23 at the visitor center, located on the grounds of King Gillette Ranch.

First, second and third-place ribbons will be awarded. Categories throughout the Santa Monica Mountains and adjacent venues include plants, animals, scenics, People in Parklands and the 2014 challenge: Variations on Light. The overall winner will receive the Best of Show award.

Winning photos may also be published in “Outdoors,” a popular quarterly publication of events and programs with a circulation of 70,000.

Entry forms and instructions are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the visitor center (26876 Mulholland Hwy) or online at Submissions are limited to two photos per amateur photographer. For further information, call 805-370-2301.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country. encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological biversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit