Monday, April 29, 2013

Name That Animal Track Contest: We Have the WINNERS!

Saturday morning, April 13, Art for Water, intern Erika Stimpson, and volunteers Noel Greiner, Kat O’Brien, Tabatha Surma, Sheryl Fletcher and her sons Aidan and Liam ages 8 and 11 held their breath as the sun rose to melt away the last night’s snow and reveal dry pavement ready for stenciling.  The commencement of this monumental art project was pushed back an agonizing 2.5 hours, hopeful it would be warm enough and dry enough to begin on the same day as Green Up Keene.  At 11:00am they all hit the pavement, literally, to paint the stencils for Name That Animal Track Contest cosponsored by Keene Department of Public Works.  Art for Water has been collaborating with Keene Public Works to produce this community-wide stenciling installation to inform locals and visitors of the direct connection between Keene’s over 5,000 storm drains to its local waterways like Beaver Brook and the Ashuelot River.  Animal tracks can be found painted walking into storm drains in Keene to remind us that what we throw into our storm goes into their drinking water- and ours!

Art for Water and volunteers spent all of Saturday painstakingly stenciling these tracks with wild winds that required all hands on deck, including those of the volunteer photographers Ryan Assiu and Jason Smith!  Intern Erika Stimpson said one of the most rewarding parts of the day was watching Aidan and Liam transcend normal 8 to 11-year-old attention spans, exhaustion, and the allure of spray paint to be helpful, careful, and thoughtful–seeing the value in giving their time to an environmental and community cause.  Some challenges of the day were managing the wind while trying to use newspapers to keep the surrounding pavement clean, avoiding being “smushed by a car,” and enduring through the curious glances of onlookers who seemed to think they were graffiting public property!  They persevered through teamwork!

Stencils of different mystery animal tracks were painted near family-friendly facilities in Keene and all community members were encouraged to find them and take a picture near them to be entered to win a prize.  There were also four specific animal tracks painted near public elementary schools in Keene and students were encouraged to identify all four of them in order to be entered to win a prize.  Toadstool Bookshops, Target, Innate Gear, and Art for Water donated prizes. 

We have the winners- but first, the answers!  The tracks that were located near public elementary schools in Keene were otter, duck, fox, and raccoon.  Around town you will also find human, canine, mink, skunk, bear, moose, and heron.  Two of our photo winners were Ben and Hazel from Monadnock Waldorf School, and they actually found the stencils outside of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and took their picture near it!  Our winner to identify all four prints outside of his school was Jack, grade 4 in Miss Starkey’s class at Jonathan M. Daniel School!  Way to go Jack!  All three students will have their prizes delivered on Monday, April 29. 

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