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2015 Land and the American Dream Photography Contest Winners

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Posted on November 25, 2015 by Delaware Valley University .

Professional Category: First Place

Courtesy: Brianna Foster ’09, Brianna Foster Photography Photographer's Description of the Work: Taken in Vermont, this photograph captures the need to move forward in sustaining the environment through things like solar power without letting go of our past and where we came from. The American Dream was built through hard work and ingenuity. To move forward without destroying the Earth, we need to maintain those ideals in new, green ways.

Professional Category: Second Place

Courtesy: Jerry Millevoi, Jerry Millevoi Photography, Inc. Photographer's Description of the Work: If we’re going to have a conversation about the American Dream and how it’s impacting our nation’s land and natural resources, we need to discuss the delicate balance of housing development versus maintaining land for the purpose of agriculture. How do we preserve land for agrarian and livestock use and continue to provide homes for a growing population? This image was taken in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Since 2000, New Hope, a desirable Bucks County town situated on the Delaware River, has experienced a population increase of 11.8 percent. The estimated median house or condo value in 2013 was $559,529. In 2000, it was $275,300. Property value increases such as this, which generate millions in tax revenue, present a challenge for those who favor setting aside land for preservation and/or agricultural usage.

Professional Category: Third Place

Courtesy: Ally Harrison, Doylestown and Brooklyn-based Receptionist and Yogi at Yogasphere and Photographer. Photographer's Description of the Work: To me, this photo represents the beauty of nature and the authentic surrealism that the land in Montana holds. Yet, the man on the log represents humanity and our symbiotic relationship with the Earth. He is essentially of the earth, anyway. It was taken this year at St. Paul Lake in Montana. Thank you for your consideration. I love that something like this happening in our community!

Amateur Category: First Place 

Courtesy: Sheila Fehrenbach Photographer's Description of the Work: This photo was taken in my backyard in Villanova and shows an example of passive solar energy. Many planned communities ban or highly discourage people from drying clothes on lines outside even though it is a highly efficient method about nine months of the year in this locale. The developed part of the world uses a much higher percentage of energy and needs to work harder on leaving a smaller footprint.

Amateur Category: Second Place

Courtesy: Samantha Pace Photographer's Description of the Work: The photograph I submitted is a reversed image of the mountains meeting the sky in Desert Center, California. I shot this so that the sky was the majority of the image. I did this because of how much land we are losing to more shopping centers and housing developments; especially in California where it seems to be the most populated. It seems to me, at times, the sky is all we have left when each last but of land is finally developed. When we are feeling crowded we can always look up at the sky.

Amateur Category:  Third Place (tie)

Courtesy: Gerald D. Klein Photographer's Description of the Work: In the Florida Everglades in 2013 I photographed this male Snowy Egret with its courting plumage from an elevated walkway in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The Sanctuary's dark water reflects the blue sky. The Everglades contain an array of spectacular birds including egrets such as this, spoonbills, the endangered wood stork, herons, ibis, and anhingas. In the last century, the Everglades, the largest sub-tropical wilderness in North America, was significantly degraded when fresh water destined to replenish the Everglades was diverted for municipal use and agriculture, mainly the growing of sugar cane. Today, serious efforts are underway to reverse the damage to the Everglades and to better balance the fresh water needs of this great and unique ecosystem with the fresh water needs elsewhere in the State.

Amateur Category:  Third Place (tie)

Courtesy: Julie Ventresca-Pittelli Photographer's Description of the Work: This photo was taken in Monroe Township, New Jersey. "What happened to the corn field?" my daughter asks as we drive to visit Memom and Poppy. I believe Land and the American Dream is a great topic to invoke thoughts from bucolic rolling hills of farmland and untouched natural habitats to the reality of life on Earth as we see and know it now... Overly consumed. Nature always prevails, because all it is, is just a dream.

Student Category: First Place

Courtesy: Jordan Redd, Central Bucks School District, high school student Photographer's Description of the Work: To me, the open road and this shot of an antique 1920’s Ford pick-up, parked in front of a tiny marina on the outskirts of LBI, New Jersey, symbolizes the American dream more than any other synthesized creation. Beginning with the Model T’s manufacture in 1908, the Model Tee enabled Americans to expand their horizons, it allowed us then and still today to pick up everything we have and move, wherever it is we want or need to go. But this symbol of the American Dream has certainly presented negative effects on the environment over the preceding and current century.

Student Category: Second Place

Courtesy: Heather McDermott, Central Bucks School District, high school student Photographer's Description of the Work: In Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, I found these power lines as an intrusion into our American landscape. An intrusion caused by our longing to prosper and gain independence with property ownership.

Student Category: Third Place

Courtesy: Payton Moore, Souderton Area School District, high school student Photographer's Description of the Work: You see it everywhere; buildings being torn down or buildings being put up, much like the old high school in Souderton. It was recently demolished due to its longstanding vacancy because of a new high school rebuilt in another location. There have been rumors of what will replace the old high school, but we can assume the land will not be used for agricultural purposes; it'll be apartment complexes or shopping centers.