Today, Greater Victoria Placemaking Network launched the ‘Chalk Your Walk’ initiative to help build and sustain connections between neighbours during this period of physical distancing, and to support front line health and services workers.
The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network is encouraging residents of all ages to use sidewalk chalk to add inspiring images, phrases, poems, games, community knowledge or whatever helps connect neighbour to neighbour. Use your own chalk, or look for a bundle at a little free library near you.
Examples could range from thanks to front line workers and inspirational messages, to writing the names of species next to trees or flowers, to localized neighborhood themed maps, or even classic games like hopscotch or sudoku. Ideas are limited only by one’s imagination.
“Placemaking is all about building community through our shared connections with public space, notes GVPN Chair Ray Straatsma. “That’s been much more difficult with COVID19. However, there are other ways to reach out, share and communicate. We’ve noticed and documented spontaneous messages around Victoria, and want to encourage more ‘pandemic placemaking’ initiatives using chalk and other materials. These are simple activities that can be done without people meeting at the same time.”
The Placemaking Network also supports little free libraries throughout the region, some of which people have been closing during the pandemic, so it will shift to placing bundles of new sidewalk chalk at various book exchanges over the coming weeks.
“Just because we’re keeping our distance doesn’t mean we have to be isolated,” says Pocket Places Project lead Teale Phelps Bondaroff. “I’m thrilled to find another way that little free libraries can continue to contribute to community-building, and lift up our spirits during this challenging time.”
The GVPN welcomes and encourages small moments of joy and wonder through these modest acts of creativity. Share your photos with the hashtags #chalkyourwalk #chalkyourwalkyyj #pandemicplacemaking #inittogetheryyj and others.
Watch the GVPN blog at victoriaplacemaking.ca and its social media accounts for updates: