2020 Winners of the Arbor Day Student Photo Contest

Nearly 200 photos were submitted in the Arbor Day Photo Contest, addressing the theme “Look to the Forest.”

To celebrate Arbor Day, the Idaho Forest Products Commission sponsors the Look to the Forest Photo Contest. The competition was open to all Idaho students in 5th – 12th grades. Students were asked to show us what they see when they Look To The Forest. In addition to the photo, students provided a statement sharing their vision of how their photo relates to the contest theme, Look to the Forest. These are the results for 2020!

First Place Winners 5-12 | Honorable Mentions Grades 5-6 |  Honorable Mentions Grades 7-8 | Honorable Mentions Grades 9-10Honorable Mentions Grades 11-12




Student: Kanyon Christman

Caption: 3 Peas in a Pod

Grade: 6

School: Christman Academy, Rigby

Teacher: Rosie Christman

Statement: When I look to the forest, I see family. Families have to work together and provide for each other. They multiply, and soar the skies. To me, the forest is about families.





Student: Olivia Stanton

Caption: A Single Yellow Flower

Grade: 7

School: Lewis & Clark Middle School, Meridian

Teacher: Andrea Baerwald

Statement: I found this picture in the forest near a swampy area. There were only a few flowers in this area. It made me realize to notice the small things in the forest, for they can bring you just as much joy as the bigger things.


Student:  Annika Zuschlag

Caption: Look (up) to the Forest

Grade: 10

School: Boise High School, Boise

Teacher: Jeremiah O’Mahony

Statement: When I look to the forest, I often forget to look up at the incredible beauty surrounding me. Sometimes we forget to cherish our forests, and changing that starts with one single tree. This massive Ponderosa shows just how impactful our forests are.


Student: Caleb Starner

CaptionThe Light That Burns Bright

Grade: 12

School: Liberty Charter School, Nampa

Teacher: Jackie Nelson

Statement:  My Grandfather “Looks to the Forest” as an escape from the chaos of life. For him his escape is to work with his lanterns, to fix what is broken, light what is dark, and to be the flame that burns bright in our camp.

Student: Margot Cotter

Caption: Shields Creek Waterfall

Grade: 5

School: Silver Hills Elementary School, Osburn

Teacher: Nichole Farkas

Statement:  In Idaho we look to the forest for many resources. My photo relates to the theme, Look to the Forest, because the source of this waterfall is a natural spring. This source was once used as clean drinking water for the Coeur Mine in Osburn, Idaho.

Student: Bodie Pirlot

Caption: Backroads

Grade: 5

School: Southside Elementary, Cocolalla

Teacher: Barbie Hunt

Statement:  “Look to the Forest” to escape the everyday hustle. No traffic here!

Student: Charlotte Zuercher

Caption: Insect & Flower in the Wilderness

Grade: 5

School: Trail Wind Elementary, Boise

Teacher: Tyler Targee

Statement:When I look to the forest I look for living & beautiful things. When I took my photo I was drawn to the colors of the insect and wildflower. I took the photo in the Frank Church Wilderness while backpacking. I love being in the forest.

Student:  Sophia Andrus

Caption: Our Green Forest

Grade: 8

School: Riverglen Junior High, Boise

Teacher: Sarah Sessions

Statement: This photo was taken on the Hiawatha Trail in Idaho. It is a beautiful birds eye view of vividly green trees. The picture looks almost like a miniature landscape that you want to be in, making anybody viewing want to look and explore the forest.

Student: Aliya Butler

Caption: A Misty Morning 

Grade: 8

School: Hillside Junior High, Boise

Teacher: Sarah Sessions

Statement: Imagine. Everything around you is blurred with a soft gray tint of low lying clouds. You can feel tiny drops of cool water on your face as you continue to walk through the fog. And when you breath in, the feeling of nature invades your whole body.

Student:  Aleah Christman

Caption: All Twisted Up

Grade: 7

School: Christman Academy, Rigby

Teacher: Rosie Christman

Statement: When I look to the forest I see character. Not one thing is the same no matter how hard I look. When I look to the forest I am surrounded by a beautiful and unique world that captures my heart!

Student:  Luciya Davidson

Caption: Nature’s Portal

Grade: 7

School: Anser Charter School, Boise

Teacher: Abby Wirsching

Statement: My photo relates to the theme Look to the Forest because it is taken without the bigger picture of the woods, reminding us to be noticing the little things in nature, since sometimes the little things are most important.

Student:  Ava Eppich

Caption: It’s Chickadee Time!

Grade: 7

School: Council Junior Senior High School, Council

Teacher: Valerie Armichardy

Statement: When I look to the forest, I see birds. Every time you listen to the forest, it is always alive with sounds. Most of the time, those sounds include chickadees. They are always flying about the forest and making sweet sounds.

Student:  Presley Fitzsimmons

Caption: My Home

Grade: 7

School: Lewis and Clark Middle School, Boise

Teacher: Erin Harris

Statement: When looking into the forest one has to remember that this is what many species call home.

Student:  Anna Howlett

Caption: Fire in the Sky

Grade: 8

School:  Middleton Middle School, Middleton

Teacher: Janine Remington

Statement: When I look to the forest, I see the beauty of trees against the sunset. After spending a day outdoors, this sunset was special. The power of the sun is spectacular. Trees harvest energy from the sun and give us valuable resources.

Student:  Ruby Lewers

Caption: When I vision a forest, I picture bogus basin because of all my memories there and all of the beautiful sunsets that never grow old.

Grade: 8

School:  West Junior High, Boise

Teacher: Tanya Gordon

Statement: My photo relates to the theme, Look to the forest because of all the trees near the sunset.

Student:  Allie Valentine

Caption: Fleurs de Cerisier

Grade: 7

School: Lewis and Clark Middle School,  Meridian

Teacher:  Erin Harris

Statement: Fleures de Cerisier is French for cherry blossoms. I believe my photo relates to the theme because there is so much life in a forest and my picture shows how much life there is, even on a single tree.

Student:  Levi Armichardy

Caption: Beauty in the Smallest Things

Grade:  9

School: Council Jr./Sr. High School, Council

Teacher:   Valerie Armichardy

Statement:  When most people think of the forest, the first thing that springs to mind is trees, mountains, or lakes. However, I look at the micro-world too. In fact, that is where I look to the forest to provide nature’s most beautiful works of art.

Student: Rio Centers

Caption: Stars Descended

Grade:  10

School: Bishop Kelly High School

Teacher:  Dana Hopper-Kelly

Statement: This tree makes everyone stop dead in their tracks, some move their tracks towards the tree. The “fingers” entwined with age and lights draw you in and when standing under, you feel as if God sprinkled some stars upon you when looking at the “forest”

Student: Kaiya Kearns

Caption: Reflections

Grade:  10

School: Boise High School, Boise

Teacher: Jeremiah O’Mahony

Statement: This photo relates to the theme because it shows how an ecosystem works together in unison. Trees, water, grass, birds, and plants. It shows balance like mother nature intended the forest to be.

Student: Bella Mitchell

Caption: The Circle of LIfe

Grade:  10

School: Lake City High School, Coeur d’ Alene

Teacher:  Donna Staub

Statement: Seeds fall from the pine cones to grow the trees of the forest, and the flowers represent how the forest springs forward every year and grows. This photo as a whole represents the cycle of life in the forest.

Student: Bridgette Silva

Caption: The Remaining Warrior

Grade:  9

School: Sun Valley Community School, Sun Valley

Teacher: Anne Aganon

Statement: This colorful leaf had survived the autumn breeze and the bitter cold of winter. It stayed on the tree for many months and remained a beautiful crimson color. This shows that items in a forest can be warriors and so can we.

Student: Matthew Foley

Caption: Evening Descent

Grade:  12

School: Lakeland High School, Rathdrum

Teacher:  Brian Etchison

Statement: The scenic north Idaho sunsets provide beauty unbeknownst to most. The breathtaking landscape from atop the peak is humbling and provides a humbling sense of graciousness. I see wondrous works as the fog settles upon the forested scenery.

Student: Adiah Jackson

Caption: Soft Trees

Grade: 11

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia Thorpe

Statement: Across Idaho we have a plethora of forests, but in my eyes none compare to the ones atop snowy mountains. Snowboarding has long been a passion of mine. This photo was taken at Bogus Basin, where I have spent many weekends.

Student: Adiah Jackson

Caption: Look Up

Grade: 11

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher: Patricia. Thorpe

Statement:All around us we have trees, forests, and woodlands. But too often are they taken for granted. Many never see the beauty of these wonderful places. This owl was very well camouflaged, but it’s the hard things to find that are worth looking for.

Student: Sierra Navarro

Caption: The Lone Tree

Grade:  12

School: Columbia High School, Nampa

Teacher:  Terrell Moffett

Statement: In this image, The Lone Tree is an old and weathered tree that looks upon the young and thriving forest below him. Therefore, not only is the viewer looking to the forest, they are looking upon generations of forests; a literal family tree.

Student: Sierra Navarro

Caption: Melting Trees

Grade:  12

School: Columbia High School, Nampa

Teacher:  Terrell Moffett

Statement: There are many different ways one can look to the forest. A person can look to the forest and nature for answers, for relief and a break from their lives, or for inspiration. This image portrays a very unique way too look at the forest.

Student: Braden Saylors

Caption: BLANKET OF LIFE | F5.6 | 1/100s | ISO500

Grade:  11

School: Timberline High School, Boise

Teacher:  Patricia Thorpe

Statement: The mists of time blanket the forests that sit curled like massive prehistoric creatures in the darkened gloom, glowering and restless, a beating heart rhythmically pulsing underfoot as time creeps along. Thank You @enchanted_rose_florist ♡