#125YearsADK Photo Contest Winner

May 25, 2017
By: Staff of the Adirondack Council

This May 20, we celebrated the Adirondack Park’s 125th birthday with a two-week long photo contest asking people to submit a photo and describe what the Adirondacks mean to them. The response was overwhelming and demonstrated just how much the Adirondack Park mean to so many people near and far. We received over two hundred entries, each sharing a unique story of what the Adirondacks mean to them. Some of the most popular themes were a sense of home, restoration, wilderness, adventure, and respite.

Each entry was beautiful and special in their own way, and we had many favorites. But we are proud to announce that Jonathan Zaharek’s entry and photo of Indian Head is the winner!

The Winning Entry:

Uploaded Image: /uploads/photo contest blog/jonathanzphotography_small.jpg

Jonathan Zaharek 

“Words can't even begin to describe the impact that this place has on me. The great Adirondack mountains are something that you just can't find anywhere else in the world. Although I live 12 hours away from them in the state of Ohio, 4 generations of my family have made the trek to the ADK every summer for nearly 90 years in a row. This one place has affected my life so greatly that I can say if it wasn't for the Adirondacks, I would not be where I am today. Almost every person that I know and love has been brought to me because of the Adirondacks. For the past couple of years now, I've had the privilege to be in the ADK for every season. I've traveled to 16 countries and I've been to every single continental United State and I can tell you right now that there is no place on earth or in America like this. Not only is it unique, but it is filled with people that are so passionate about life, it's like a disease, leaving you wanting more. The reason why I chose this photo, rather than all the other ones that I have is because my favorite aspect about creation is the stars and the ADK display them in a way that no other place can. I believe this is one of the most amazing aspects about this place. Being able to just wander off into the wilderness with a friend, or sitting by campfire on the beach at night, the stars are always there watching over the park, while leaving us in complete amazement about them. Being a part of this park is a tradition that I will carry on through the rest of my life until the day I die. I can't wait to see the memories that I make this year. Thank you so much Adirondacks." 

-Your dear friend-
Jonathan Zaharek”

We’d also like to make a special mention of three of our other favorite entries. They were just too good not to share!

 Uploaded Image: /uploads/photo contest blog/jrodewald_small.jpg

James Rodewald

"What do the Adirondacks mean to me? I first experienced the Adirondacks when I was sixteen on a weekend visit through the High Peaks region to the Saranac Lake area. It made a profound impact upon me, I have seen nothing in my life as beautiful as those Spring mountains and valleys. Decades have gone by now and time and again the Adirondacks remain unchanged and a constant source of energy, spirituality and peace for me in both good times and bad. They never fail to restore me and to remind me of what is most important in my life. The views throughout the year, the sounds of the forest on a Summer evening and the smell of Winter giving way to Spring are without parallel. Happy Birthday, Adirondacks. May you remain wilderness forever."

Pictured: Morning after a Spring storm in the Adirondack Park, Warren County, NY”

Uploaded Image: /uploads/photo contest blog/ieevans_small.jpg

Ian Evans

“I'm grateful for those who had the foresight, and those who continue presently, to protect the Adirondacks. Living there was second to none and visiting every year is something where I count down the days. There's a peace and sense of community in Upstate New York, in the mountains."

What do the Adirondacks mean to me? "He had everything, he possessed nothing." -A.W. Tozer

Uploaded Image: /uploads/photo contest blog/sarlouiseshutt_small.jpg

Sarah Shutt

“I don't think we go into the Adirondack wilderness to find ourselves, but to be ourselves and to experience the most ancient of human conditions. Like the ADK explorers before our time, we seek the quiet solitude and inspiration offered by the endless panoramas and the extraordinary rewards of a backcountry trek. I find myself drawn here when I need to reconnect and recalibrate. For this teacher the Adirondacks means restoration, and rejuvenation, and the chance to indulge the spirit of adventure with life's greatest companions. I would trade a week of average for just one day of Adirondacks.”

A huge thank you to everyone that entered the photo contest. We are so thankful for people like YOU that love and cherish the Adirondacks. Now, we must work together to ensure the Adirondack Park thrives over the next 125 years. If you’d like to stay up to date on issues facing Adirondack waters, wildlife, communities, and forests, please sign-up for our action alerts and email updates.

You can see more entries from the contest here or by searching #125YearsADK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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