From the Wild to the Walls of Children’s National Hospital, Nature’s Best Photography Inspires Healing and Joy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Displayed on the ground floor of Children’s National Hospital—ranked one of the nation’s top ten paediatric hospitals—a new exhibition of fine art prints immerses patients, their families, visitors, and dedicated staff in nature’s calming beauty. These 41 award-winning images represent the work of photographers of all ages and levels of camera experience from the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards. View the photos online at

“Our vision for this new exhibition at Children’s National is to deliver uplifting visual storytelling to those who may benefit from it the most. These scenes and their stories instantly transport viewers from the stress of the hospital environment into the wonders of nature, inviting imagination and curiosity to become a highlight of their day.” - Steve Freligh, Nature’s Best Photography Awards Co-founder and Director.

“The Nature’s Best Photography display is a beautiful way to help our patients and families reconnect with nature during this time of COVID-19,” remarks Martha Parra, Children’s National Vice President of Clinical Support Services. “These images convey such an important sense of balance, peace, and joy.”

The annual NBP photography competition has engaged the public for more than 25 years through publications, exhibitions, online galleries, and events at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and other major forums around the globe. NBP is now proud to share the Nature’s Best mission with a new audience in an entirely new destination that will support wellness and health inspiration overall. Named in memory of nature photographer and conservationist, Windland Smith Rice, the annual Awards program celebrates the beauty and diversity of Earth’s wildlife and wild places, combining the art of photography with natural history education.

“I am delighted and honoured to be part of this exhibition. It is a wonderful initiative that I hope brings a little cheer and happiness to those who need it.” - Ben Penson.

“I’ve been working with young people for 27 years in the classroom and the field, and have always felt a close bond in helping the young. It means a lot to be included in this gallery. I hope my image of an African lioness with her young cubs will bring lots of smiles to kids in the hospital, in addition to those who care for and visit them.” - Russ Burden.

“Wow, I am so honoured to be included in this exhibition. What an incredible idea. I am happy to be able to share my image of two grizzly cubs in Alaska. By showing the loving and natural behaviour of bears I experienced, I hope to help change the often negative perspective society has on grizzlies and other bears.” - Ashleigh Scully, 2017 Youth Photographer of the Year.

“My passion is wildlife conservation. Through our global preservation efforts, our television programs on Discovery Channel, and ongoing conservation promotion, my family and I are proud to spread this message. My photograph of a tundra swan flying free overhead with wings in perfect symmetry helps to educate others about our beautiful natural world.” - Robert Irwin.


This exhibition was made possible through the ongoing support of the Frederick W. Smith Family, Susan and Daniel Katzin, Beverly and Charles Veatch, Sherrye and David Dantzker, the Freligh Family, the Neel Foundation, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the National Audubon Society.

“The African Wildlife Foundation is proud to help support this powerful exhibition at Children’s National. Through our valued partnership with Nature’s Best, we hope these extraordinary images will have a lasting impression on children and their families. This is a critical time for conservation in Africa, with a sharp decline in wildlife tourism and a growing prevalence of human-wildlife conflict due to COVID-19. Part of AWF’s strategy is to increase the opportunities and role of youth. A prosperous Africa depends on young people challenging existing systems to help improve the environment.” - Carter Ong Smith, AWF Safari Manager,

About Nature’s Best Photography
The mission of Nature’s Best Photography (NBP) is to celebrate and display the creative talents of nature photographers and filmmakers of all ages, cultures, and levels of experience - and to use this visually dynamic and information-rich medium as a global resource for public education, artistic expression, wellness inspiration, and conservation motivation. NBP supports this mission through high-quality publications, photography awards programs, online presentations, large-format print exhibitions, and alliances with conservation organisations worldwide. Learn more at

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