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@GoParks Photo Contest: 11 Moments That’ll Expand Your Bucket List


WASHINGTON — A captivating starry night at Acadia National Park is the grand prize winner of the 2017 Share the Experience photo contest, hosted by the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. Captured by Manish Mamtani of Peabody, Massachusetts, this image will be featured on the annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. View the complete collection of winning photos on the National Park Foundation’s blog today.

This annual contest invites amateur photographers to submit their favorite views, moments, and adventures from America’s national parks and public lands. The 2018 Share the Experience photo contest is now accepting entries through December 31.

“The Share the Experience photo contest inspires people to explore the country’s diverse public lands,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Once people discover these incredible treasures for themselves, the hope is that they’ll be moved to also support them.”

The grand prize for the winning image is $10,000, followed by $5,000 and $3,000 for second and third place. Winners also receive outdoor gear provided by Celestron and Osprey Packs, hotel packages courtesy of Historic Hotels of America®, and an annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

“I have always been a great fan of America’s national parks,” said Manish Mamtani, who took the winning image while visiting Acadia National Park with his wife last summer. “I love the way beauty and wilderness is preserved in the parks. I always feel a close connection to nature in the national parks. My love for night sky is the reason I ventured into Astro-photography. Hiking in the night sky not only fulfills my appetite for adventure, but also makes me appreciate my existence among billions of galaxies, where our planet itself is no more than a tiny dot. Some of the national parks like Death Valley, Big Bend, Natural Bridges, Acadia and Arches provide the darkest night skies.”

A photograph by Kristy Burns from Livingston, Texas, of Fort Union National Monument took second place.

Third place went to Dorrie Henderson of Lafayette, Indiana, for her photo of Coconino National Forest.

Prizes are awarded for fan favorites and the following six category winners:

  • Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
  • Historical and Cultural
  • Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes
  • Family, Friends, and Fun
  • Wildlife
  • Night Skies

More than 16,000 photos were submitted to the contest, which ran from May 4, 2017, through December 31, 2017.

The 2018 Share the Experience photo contest is hosted by the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands, showcasing the more than 500 million acres of federal lands and drawing entries from across the United States. For a full listing of prizing and rules, or to submit a photo, please visit You can also follow @GoParks on Instagram for photo inspiration.

Share the Experience is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque inspires people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to the country’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Celebrating 50 years, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at