Michigander captures Pictured Rocks to win national photo competition

With warmer spring air approaching, tourists and outdoor enthusiasts are picturing sunny skies and clear waters for their beloved recreational activities. The national spotlight shined through gloomy overcast clouds today to shed light on a photograph of Pictured Rocks in Munising.

The National Park Foundation announced the 2013 winner of its ‘Share the Experience’ photo competition. Courtney Kotewa of Essexville, Michigan was awarded the national grand prize for her photo of Pictured Rocks. Taken with her smart phone, Kotewa captured an image of the Upper Peninsula’s crystal clear skies and shimmering blue waves in Munising. The photograph was taken during a family outing while kayaking off the shores of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Pictured Rocks Full

Image Courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior – Photography by Courtney Kotewa – 2013 Share the Experience Contest Winner. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

As the grand prize winner, Courtney’s photo will be featured on the 2015 America the Beautiful—The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. About 300,000 people purchase this pass each year.

“This photo contest encourages people from all walks of life to get out, get active, and share their experience on diverse public lands available across the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

About 18,000 images were submitted in 2013 and the contest had more than 1.7 million photo views. The U.S. Department of the Interior hopes the competition will encourage all Americans to explore inspiring places.

“And don’t forget to take your camera along,” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “The lens of a camera in the right hands at the right place can capture the majesty and magic of America’s national parks, national wildlife refuges and other treasured landscapes like the beautiful lakeshore in Michigan where Courtney took her winning photograph,” Jewel added.

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks, a sector of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Courtney Kotewa shares her mother’s adventurous spirit to highlight her special connection to the outdoors. “You don’t have to go far to do something really cool,” said Kotewa. “Nature grounds you where you can get your perspective on life back. That’s what it does for me.”

Secretary Vilsack said that America’s public lands not only help to conserve soil and water resources, they also offer the perfect venue for families to maintain healthy outdoor lifestyles.

With the announcement of the 2013 Grand Prize, this year’s competition was launched, and all federal land visitors are encouraged to enter. The contest encourages people from all walks of life to get out, get active, and share their experience on diverse public lands available across the country. For more infomation about the 2014 competition, visit http://sharetheexperience.org

About the Author

Andrew Lorinser
Andrew@ABC10UP.com Andrew is the interactive media manager at ABC 10 / CW 5. Learn More about ABC 10 / CW 5 Staff