Skip to main content

Times of the Islands Magazine

Open submissions for the "Ding" Darling-Theodore Cross High School Photography Contest

Dec 13, 2022 08:00AM ● By Francesca Block

Kara walking the trail at the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge located on Sanibel Island is lauded around the world for its commitment to wildlife preservation and education. Along with that mission, the refuge is calling for high schoolers around Southwest Florida to submit their photographs of wildlife and nature as a part of the 11th annual Ding" Darling-Theodore Cross High School Photography Contest.

The contest, founded in 2014, is named after influential bird photographer and activist Theodore Cross. Cross is most known for marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and for his work advising presidents on anti-poverty programs. 

In honor of Cross's legacy, high schoolers from Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry county are invited to submit up to two photographs now through January 15, 2023. The first place winner will be awarded a prize package worth up to $1,500 which includes a camera and accessories, an excursion with Tarpon Bay Explorers, a chartered class trip to the refuge with a private tour, a "Ding" Darling gift bag and Nature Store gift certificate and a copy of Theodore Cross's book Waterbirds

The second place winner will be awarded prizes worth up to $750 and include the chartered class trip, gift certificate and book. The third place winner will receive the gift certificate and book.

Students can submit their photos by emailing [email protected]. For more information on contest details, visit