Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension

As you probably know by now, twice a year, we sponsor a Recycled Yard Art Contest, one at the Hillsborough County Fair and one at the Florida State Fair. The purpose of the Recycled Yard Art Contest is 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 12 days of the 2017 Florida State Fair, attendees voted for the People’s Choice award on one of the 24 entries submitted.

The votes have been tallied, all 9,142 of them (an increase from the 2016 vote total of 8,144), and the winner is: Andy Hamilton for the “Farm Bike” created with boat fenders, bicycle parts, wheels and a propane cylinder.
Jeffrey Scott De Blasio won first place for his “Metal Bonefish Sculpture”, which was created from horseshoes and various other metal parts.

Dowdell Middle Magnet School won the first place Middle School Award for its creation, “Teacup Planter” that utilized old tires, tin cans, paint, a paper bag and rope.

The first place award for an Elementary School went to Ballast Point Elementary for “Fence Picket Self Portraits” made with reclaimed wooden fence pickets.

First place for a High School was awarded to Hannah Barrionuevo from Wharton High School for her “Piano” created from clay and clothespins.

All of the contest winning entries will be on display at the UF/IFAS Extension Service, 5339 CR 579, Seffner, until March 21. 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’m truly amazed at the creativity of all of the artists. 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 create it. We will have two Recycled Yard Art competitions in 2018; 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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