For the fourth year, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is conducting an artwork contest to select an image for the front of the park’s Annual Park Entrance Pass. The focus of the contest centers around the Every Kid in a Park program, which has the central goal of connecting fourth graders with the great outdoors and inspiring them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for years to come. For this reason, the art contest is open to anyone 12 years of age or younger.

The contest rules include:

  1. One entry is allowed per child and all artwork must be completed by the child.
  2. Draw or paint a picture that reminds you of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. If you visited the park, what experiences did you have while enjoying the park? What do you like most about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?
  3. Use the template available on the park’s website ( as the canvas for completing your artwork. The final pass will be much smaller (about credit card size), so the winning artwork will be scaled down to fit the available space.
  4. Artwork may be completed by using colored pencils, paints, crayons, markers, pastels, etc., or by simply creating a pen and ink drawing.
  5. Once complete, print the child’s name and age in the space provided at the bottom of the template, and have the parent/guardian sign their name and provide an email address.
  6. The original artwork, along with the cover page, must be sent flat, by mail or hand-delivered, to the park at the following address: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Attn: Artwork Contest, 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630.
  7. Entries must be received at the park no later than October 31, 2018.
  8. Contest entries will be evaluated on originality, creativity and quality. Impartial members of the park staff will choose the winning design.
  9. Children of employees of the National Lakeshore or its partners may participate. Entries will be kept anonymous from the judges.
  10. All artwork submitted will become the property of the National Park Service for use in web and print publications for the National Lakeshore.
  11. The winner will be announced by mid-November. Prizes for the winning artwork and runner-up will be provided by Eastern National, who partners with the National Lakeshore to operate three bookstores in the park. The winner will also receive a 2019 Annual Park Entrance Pass.
  12. For questions or more information, please contact Paul Purifoy, Revenue and Fee Business Manager, at 231-326-4730.

Every year, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore sells thousands of Annual Park Entrance Passes through the fee collection stations located throughout the park and through local area businesses who are signed up as Pass Sale Vendors. The pass provides free entry for the pass holder and occupants in a single, private non-commercial vehicle. If entry is by foot, bicycle, or organized group not part of a commercial tour, the pass admits the pass holder and three adults (16 years of age or older). Children under 16 are admitted free.

—Press release provided by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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Photo(s) by National Park Service