Shelby Township to snap up entries in Arbor Day photo contest

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 1, 2019

  This photo of the sun shining through a tree is an example of a composition that could be used for the  Shelby Township tree photo contest.

This photo of the sun shining through a tree is an example of a composition that could be used for the Shelby Township tree photo contest.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Get your cameras ready. Shelby Township is holding a tree photo contest open to all who are interested in celebrating Arbor Day April 26.

Now through April 18, Shelby Township will be looking for participants to submit photos of trees throughout Shelby Township that mean something to them. Whether it is a special place, memory or just a favorite tree, snap a picture and post it on social media.

Submissions can be posted on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #ShelbyTwpTree. Entries must be posted publicly and include a description of what it means to the poster.

Winners will be recognized at 11 a.m. April 26 at the historic Curtis Cemetery, located at 54131 Shelby Road, during the third annual Arbor Day celebration.

Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. The township will be rededicating the official Shelby Township tree in Curtis Cemetery and will plant an oak sapling at Fire Station No. 3 on Shelby Road in honor of Arbor Day.

The first-place winner of the contest will receive one free pavilion rental for any township park, and the winning entry will be featured in the 2019 spring/summer edition of “Branching Out,” the township’s parks and recreation catalog.

Supervisor Rick Stathakis said that the township logo is a tree and that this contest is a celebration of all the trees in Shelby Township.

“The tree is our logo in Shelby Township, but it means so much more than that,” Stathakis said.

“The tree represents more than 1,100 acres of public parks, our place along the Clinton River as well as our homes and the peace of mind that comes with living in Shelby Township. It’s only fitting that we celebrate that intense local pride in our trees this Arbor Day,” said Stathakis.

Submissions must be photos of trees located within the borders of Shelby Township or Stony Creek Metropark, and a location must be provided with the entry.

Brad Bates, the township’s media relations director, said that the residents of Shelby Township take pride in their trees and the beauty that they bring.

“Working in community relations for Shelby Township, it doesn’t take too long to realize how important our trees are to our residents,” said Bates.

He said that the contest is a way of tapping into the township’s Arbor Day celebration with a fun photo contest focusing on the natural part of Shelby Township.

“We decided to tap into that passion as part of our Arbor Day festivities this year with the photo contest. Based on our engagement through Instagram, we know there are a lot of talented amateur and professional photographers in the area that take some really amazing photos in our parks, and we thought it would be fun to engage those people and see what they can do to help us celebrate our trees and the township’s canopy,” said Bates.

The contest photos will go through a panel, and the most interesting one will be chosen.

“For judging, we have a panel of judges made up of township personnel from the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department; the Community Relations Department; and the Shelby Township Library that will review the submissions and pick a winner,” said Bates.

Anyone who wants to participate can submit a photo of a tree from Shelby township. You do not have to be from Shelby Township.

Submissions need to be posted by April 18, and winners will be notified by April 23.

“Our trees and our canopy are two of the top distinguishing characteristics that define Shelby Township,” said Stathakis. “Our green spaces, parks and environment play a big part in making Shelby Township a better place.”

For full contest rules, visit or email