Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2015 Annual Celebration Brunch.  Because of you, it was a success! 

  TLC is mentioned in Land Trust   Alliance's article, Measuring Success.   Click here to read the article.  

HAPPY 2015!

Why not volunteer your time and effort to help the environment. Join one of TLC's workdays, oak rescues, classes, hikes or presentations - discussions this year. You will be glad you did! 

Art of the Land Photography Contest



Our 2015 photo contest is now open to amateur photographers!


  Annual TLC Art of the Land Photography Contest


The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) invites amateur photographers to participate in a unique photo contest meant to highlight the inspiring nature of TLC's land preservation work. The contest goal is to showcase photographs that reveal the beautiful and immense natural and cultural diversity found throughout McHenry County.

TLC has worked with over 90 landowners to preserve more than 2,000 acres across McHenry County.  Protected properties range from 1 acre to 250 acres in size. Preserved lands include high quality wetland and woodland habitat, farmland, scenic vistas, historic farmsteads and similar valuable land resources.

The Land Conservancy will match each participating photographer with a specific TLC site. Each site has a unique character and story. All photographs submitted must be taken either of properties on which TLC holds a conservation easement, land TLC owns or stewards, or of people who work with TLC for the purpose of preserving their land for the benefit of future generations.

How to Enter:

Once you have read and agreed to the rules below, filled out and returned the contest application (click here for application) and paid the contest registration fee of $10, you will be assigned to a specific property, receive any maps and/or directions to your assigned property, and given landowner contact information (if applicable). If your specific property is privately-owned, we ask that you contact the landowner to arrange an initial meeting date at the property.


Only original photographs taken for this purpose are eligible. TLC's 2015 photography contest is open to all amateur photographers. Participants do not need to be residents of McHenry County. Those under 17 years of age must have permission from a parent in writing. Amateur is defined as earning less than a maximum of $2,000 annually from photographic work. All submitted photos must be free of claims and rights of third parties. TLC board members, employees and members of their immediate households may submit photos, but will not be eligible for the prizes.


*NEW IN 2015* This contest is NOT JUDGED in CATEGORIES, but we provide suggested photo topics:

LANDSCAPE: Overviews of the site.

PLANT LIFE: Flowers, trees, and other plants in their natural habitat (please avoid invasive species).

SMALL WORLD: Close-up images or macro shots of flowers or flower parts, butterflies, caterpillars, insects, etc.

WATER: Ponds, streams, and wetlands, including frogs, fish, and aquatic plant life.

WILDLIFE: Wild animals observed in natural habitats- birds, mammals, etc.

BLACK AND WHITE: Images where the contrast, subject, or lighting may be enhanced by black and white.

Photographers may submit a maximum of THREE (3) photos, drawing from any of these categories.

Prizes & Recognition:

A total of nine cash prizes will be given. Nature: 1st Place—$100, 2nd Place—$75, 3rd Place—$50, People's Choice (2 separate nights of voting)—$25, three Honorable Mentions—$25 ea. 

*NEW IN 2015* Youth (15 and under):  1st Place-$25.

One photo from each participating photographer will be displayed at TLC's Art of the Land show at the Starline Gallery in Harvard (September 2015). Winning photos and finalists, along with photographer's name and city, will be displayed on the TLC website, in the TLC newsletters (paper and email versions), and on TLC's Facebook Page. TLC may also put together a photo catalogue showing each year's entries. The photographers must understand and agree that TLC has the right to display, use, reproduce and make other use of the photo(s) in its own publications or to make the photograph available for publicity purposes or any and all other non-profit purposes, including offering them for sale as part of a fundraiser, to promote TLC and its mission in perpetuity.

File Format:

Images must be submitted as a digital AND a printed format. Print images must be 8x10 inches and unmounted. Digital files must be in JPG format, a minimum of 2 megapixels or 1600x1200 dpi.

Digital filenames must be in this format:  Site Name-Photographer's Last Name-First Name-2014

Print images must be labeled with the Site Name, Photographer's First and Last Names, and approximate date taken. Please adhere a permanent label to the back of the print rather than writing directly on the print.


Elements cannot be deleted or added to the photograph but photos may be cropped and enhanced in a photo software program so long as the manipulation is not so extreme as to significantly distort the image or create a "computer art" image. If, in the opinion of the judges, software manipulation is extreme, the photo will be disqualified. Photos whose subject matter is a manmade object, e.g. windmill or building, will not be eligible for an award. Photos that include manmade objects but whose primary subject is the land, plants or wildlife, are eligible.


Deadline for Entries—5:00 pm on August 21, 2015

Judging—Early September 2015

Winners Announced—After the People's Choice judging is completed at TLC's Art of the Land benefit in September 2015. All decisions made by the judges will be final.

Contest Registration Fees:

Contest registration is $10. This fee includes entry to the Art of the Land show in September 2015, both nights, for each participating photographer.

Entrants may pay the contest fees in one of these ways:

- Pay with a credit card by phone, 815-337-9502. Our hours are M-F 9am-4pm.

- Stop by TLC to pay in person using cash, check or credit card, 4622 Dean Street, Woodstock, IL.

- Mail a check or money order to The Land Conservancy, PO Box 352, Woodstock, IL 60098. Be sure to include the name of the photographer.

Photo Catalogs from 2011, 2012, and 2013 may be purchased through Follow the links to order your copy today:

2011 Photo Contest Catalog

2012 Photo Contest Catalog

2013 Photo Contest Catalog

2014 Photo Contest Catalog

Or you can also order a photo contest catalog from TLC and we will mail you a copy. 


Get Involved with TLC

There are a variety of ways to help TLC preserve the natural, scenic and agricultural lands that make McHenry County so attractive, and that provide such a high quality of life to its residents.


As a small organization, TLC relies upon the work of volunteers, the financial support of members, as well as the decisions that private property owners make to preserve their land.


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Preserving Land Forever as a Member of Terrafirma Insurance. 

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