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Phoenix chalk art event to raise awareness about endangered species

A Saturday event will cover sidewalks around the Phoenix Civic Center with chalk art to raise awareness of endangered species.

Chalk It Up, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 22, at the Civic Center, 220 N. Main St., Phoenix, is free and open to the public, according to the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy and Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.

The inaugural event will follow National Endangered Species Day, held Friday, May 21.

More than 125 sidewalk “squares” will be available to draw on around the building. Attendees are asked to sign up when they arrive and then choose a square, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis, a news release said. Attendees are asked to bring their own chalk, and to come with an endangered animal or plant to draw.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a list of federally endangered and threatened species at fws.gov/endangered.

“(We’re) raising awareness, educating people about how many endangered species there are, but also how many there are here in Oregon,” said Kristina Lefever, Pollinator Project Rogue Valley president.

Then there’s the event’s simpler secondary intent: a community gathering on a Saturday in spring.

Event offerings include a kid’s chalk zone, music and food trucks. Donations for placement of the Phoenix Rising mural on the Phoenix Grange Hall will be accepted. Rogue Valley Sewer Services will lead a work party pulling weeds in the natural storm-water swale behind the Civic Center from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Attendees are welcome to help.

Chalk artists have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 23, to enter their art to the Endangered Species Coalition via Instagram for a nationwide contest. Participants must have a public Instagram account to enter. They must use the hashtag #EndangeredSpeciesChalkArt and tag @endangeredspeciescoalition in the caption. The grand prize is $250. Visit endangered.org/endangered-species-chalk-art-event for more information.

A local people’s choice award winner will also be chosen at the event.

Visit facebook.com/events/145178214290810 for more information.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.