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Local Kids “Chalk It Up!” for Conservation

The Hub on Canal’s 4th annual “Chalk It Up!” sidewalk art competition took place on Saturday, February 27th. Artists lined Canal Street from 9am to 4pm, turning their assigned 4ft. squares into colorful masterpieces. New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission sponsored the event along with the Canal Street Historic District, Art Fiesta, the City of New Smyrna Beach and others. It was a beautiful, sunny day and everyone had a great time strolling downtown admiring the artists’ creations.

This was UCNSB’s third year participating in the event, with our contribution providing a box of sidewalk chalk to each artist. We invite local elementary students through their school art programs to participate in the event each year, and provide a theme for them to follow. This year’s theme, “Together We Are Able,” is based on our togetherweareable.org website. The site promotes conservation and sustainability of water and energy. It provides easy ways to protect our precious water and energy and we saw this as a great way to get the word out about this helpful resource.

Two teams of students set up on the sidewalk at the corner of Magnolia and Canal st., right outside our UCNSB building. The group from Indian River Elementary school designed a colorful rendition of our Florida Aquifer, solar panels, and a large yellow sun providing energy to all. They even incorporated their school mascot, a manatee, into their artwork. The words “conservation,” “renewables,” and “sustainability” were displayed prominently along the bottom of the frame, along with the Together We Are Able web address. The children had lots of fun sharing their artwork with people walking by, and explaining the significance of each element that they chose to include.

The second group of kids, from Edgewater Public School, focused their attention on renewable wind power. Their image depicted a large wind turbine along with a sailboat featuring the Together We Are Able logo on its sail. The students shared that their class had recently learned all about wind turbines, and that they can be used to provide energy to entire cities. As the two groups of students worked side by side throughout the day, they decided to connect the two drawings when they were finished. They drew a swirling green vine with a plug on each end to represent energy, complete with the words “Stronger Together” in the center. As described by one of the teachers, the children decided that it perfectly illustrated this year’s theme: that we are able to sustain our water and energy resources if we work together.

Despite adjusted safety and social distancing measures, this year’s “Chalk It Up” was a huge success.There was a great turnout, and everyone at UCNSB is proud to have supported this cause.  “It was a unique and colorful way to get our message out to our community, said Ellen Fisher, Community Relations Coordinator for the Utilities Commission. “The kids got to express themselves through this medium while learning about important environmental issues.”