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Local groups host Chalk Art Day to recognize endangered species

On Saturday the sidewalks around the Phoenix Civic Center will be open for artists of all skill levels to create beautiful sidewalk art and raise awareness about endangered species.

Posted: May 22, 2021 10:26 AM

PHOENIX, Ore.---Saturday, May 22, 2021 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., the sidewalks around the Phoenix Civic Center will be open for artists of all skill levels — amateurs, professionals, kids, and adults — to create beautiful sidewalk art and raise awareness about endangered species. This is to honor National Endangered Species Day that was on Friday, May 21.

“More than 125 sidewalk ‘squares’ will be available around the Phoenix Civic Center,” said Kristi Mergenthaler with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, one of many groups and businesses sponsoring the event. “Sign up when you arrive and choose your square; they are available on a first come, first serve basis. And please BYOC – bring your own chalk – and arrive with a designated plant or animal in mind to Chalk It Up.”

The US Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a list of federally endangered, threatened, and candidate species – look it up beforehand or be inspired by resources at the event.

In addition to a day of art and education, the event will include a Kid’s Chalk Zone, music, and food trucks, along with an opportunity to donate to support the placement of the Phoenix Rising mural on the Phoenix Grange Hall. There are already over 15 co-hosts, from local businesses to regional environmental groups, with several musical groups already signed on. According to Kristina Lefever, president of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, and a co-organizer of the event, they are still seeking co-hosts, volunteers, sponsors, and artists to participate in and support the event. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or watch their event video.

The Chalk Art Day is part of the national art competition hosted by the Endangered Species Coalition. With a number of local species either on the Endangered Species List, or listed as a Species of Concern, this will be an educational event for artists and the public alike. Participants are invited to enter their work via Instagram to the Endangered Species Coalition and have a chance to win the Grand Prize of $250. Information on how to enter this competition is on the event page.

There will also be a prize for the People’s Choice Award - everyone can vote for their favorite chalk art square!

“We encourage everyone in the community to attend this event and try their hand at some chalk art!” said Lefever. “It’s the perfect place for everyone — from young kids to skilled artists. We are excited to raise awareness about endangered species on a day that will be a fun community event.” Everyone is expected to follow socially distance guidelines and to wear a mask to help protect our community.

Rogue Valley Sewer Services will be leading a work party pulling weeds in the natural stormwater swale behind the Civic Center from 9 a.m. - 12 noon the same day. 

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