By Lynn Barber


The purpose of the Recycled Yard Art Contest was to increase environmental awareness and encourage reuse/recycling of materials into yard art. The competition involved two and three dimensional art created from items already used for their original purpose. During the twelve days of the 2015 Florida State Fair, attendees voted for the People’s Choice award on one of the nineteen entries submitted. The votes have been tallied, all 5,466 of them, and the winner is: Andy Hamilton for the “Robot Welder” created with a bug sprayer, candle stick, skates, metal thermometer, silverware and bicycle pedals.

McClaren A. Streets “Buddy” won first place for his “American Quarter”, (American Eagle), which was created from used saw blades, truck and welding parts.

Dowdell Middle Magnet School won the first place Middle School Award for their creation of “Penguin Lawn Decorations” that utilized plastic bottles in varying sizes and fabric scraps.

The first place award for an Elementary School went to Ballast Point Elementary for their “Cycle” creation which is a Rainwater Harvesting system. The materials used include a plastic garbage bin/can, plastic bottles (water, soda and milk), an old garden hose and bicycle wheel.

All of the contest winning entries will be on display at the UF/IFAS Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, in Seffner until Wednesday, March 18. We hope you will stop by to view these creations, stroll through the Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden and see what we have to offer.

I am truly amazed at the creativity of the artists. Most of the artwork that was entered into the Recycled Yard Art contest would look fabulous in many landscape, mine in particular! Each of us would probably be surprised at how creative we can be. This is a great time to put on your thinking caps for a Recycled Yard Art project you have been considering creating…and make it. We will have two Recycled Yard Art competitions in 2016; one at the Hillsborough County Fair, and one at the Florida State Fair. Hope you will participate. Thanks for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Repeating.

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