It’s said the word “Iowa” came from a Native American word for “beautiful land,” and Iowans will be able to showcase some of that beauty through a statewide photography contest.

Andy Frantz, executive director of Keep Iowa Beautiful, says they’re seeking entries in the 14th annual contest with the goal of raising awareness of Iowa’s natural and environmental splendor.

Frantz says there are five categories. “Iowa Landscapes; Iowa Water, waterways, ponds, streams, waterfalls, whatever it may be,” Frantz says. “Iowa Cities, large and small; Iowans in Action, it can be anything that you can imagine, from biking to hunting to farming, we get a whole lot of different things in that; and then Iowa Wildlife.”

The pictures people submit seem to get better every year, he says, from breathtaking vistas of waterways to stunning sunsets over tractors in fields. Submitting a photo entry is easy by visiting the website

“Once you get on the website and click on the Photography Contest, it’ll walk you through how you submit a photo,” Frantz says. “It’s all experience levels of photography. It’s just a fun way for all Iowans to celebrate the beauty of Iowa.” There are cash prizes up to $500 for the winners and runners up in each category, with “best in show” winners as well.

Frantz says they’ve considered using these pictures in a calendar or in some other way, but for now, they’re simply used to promote our state’s spectacular scenery.

“We have a newsletter every month and we use those photographs in the newsletter quite extensively,” Frantz says. “We use it on our social media platform, so we try to utilize it in as many ways as possible because we get some really nice and stunning photos that we want to share with everybody.”

There’s a $5 fee for each entry to cover the administrative costs of the contest, he says. Entries are now being accepted, while the deadline to enter is December 16th.