Local Photographers Recognized for Photos Captured at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

At its November 7 meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors honored seven local, amateur photographers for their winning images in Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve’s thirteenth annual photo contest.

This year’s contest generated 73 entries in five categories—Scenic View, Water Scenery, Plants, Animals, and Youth (under 15 years of age). The public also selected a People’s Choice Award winner by voting for their favorite of 11 entries posted on the Reserve’s Facebook page.

OMWD developed the Reserve through its partnership with the US Department of the Interior – Bureau of Land Management and San Diego County Water Authority. The Reserve is a component of the Authority’s Olivenhain Water Storage Project, which can provide up to 24,000 acre-feet of water during an emergency water supply outage. An acre-foot is enough to serve two typical families of four for a year. The 784-acre reserve is designed to unify the interests of domestic water supply development, natural resources management, and recreational opportunities.

“The photo entries brought unique views of the Reserve to life,” stated Larry Watt, OMWD Board President. “This collection of photos provides OMWD with powerful imagery to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds.”

In addition to educating the public on the importance of wildlife protection, photo contest entries can serve as invitations for new visitors to enjoy the Reserve. The Reserve offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as picnic areas and scenic mountain viewing points.

This year’s winners include:

Prizes donated by local businesses included dinner by Jake’s Del Mar, tickets donated by San Diego Zoo Global, a 24” x 36” canvas print donated by PC Photo & Imaging, outdoor equipment donated by REI, and a $100 cash prize donated by Escondido Creek Conservancy.

This year’s winning photographs will be on display from January 1 to April 30, 2019, at the Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty located in the Reserve’s staging area. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to approximately thirty minutes before sunset, the Reserve is located at 8833 Harmony Grove Road in Escondido. Admission and parking are free. The interpretive center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., subject to docent availability. More information is available at