The little library in Rutledge Park boasts a bundle of sidewalk chalk already in use April 15. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Little libraries stock chalk across Greater Victoria to spread positive messages

Greater Victoria Placemaking Network launches ‘Chalk Your Block’ initiative

Sidewalk chalk is in stock at little libraries across the region as the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network launches its ‘Chalk Your Block’ initiative.

The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network encourages residents of all ages to use the chalk to add inspiring images, phrases, poems, games, community knowledge or whatever helps connect residents with their neighbours.

READ ALSO: Victoria offers $63,000 in grants to build better neighbourhoods

“Placemaking is all about building community through our shared connections with public space,” GVPN chair Ray Straatsma said in a news release. “That’s been much more difficult with COVID-19. 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 goal is to help build and sustain connections between neighbours during this period of physical distancing, and to support frontline health and services workers.

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.

READ ALSO: Victoria boasts highest density of little free libraries in Canada

“Just because we’re keeping our distance doesn’t mean we have to be isolated,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Pocket Places Project lead. “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 hopes residents will share photos online with the hashtags #chalkyourwalk #chalkyourwalkyyj #pandemicplacemaking, #inittogetheryyj and others.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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Messages can vary as the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network launches its ‘Chalk Your Block’ initiative. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

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