Artist Annie Lu led off the art challenge with her watercolor at right. When is a weed also a hat?

 

Herbicide Free Campus is calling all visual artists (and poets) to enter its April 21 art contest to help show how weeds can be beautiful and beneficial.

The goal is to spread awareness of Herbicide Free Campus’s mission toward reducing use of herbicides and other chemicals that are harming our environment. The idea is to create a dialogue around weeds, transforming our typical notion of weeds as “bad” and showing how weeds can be beautiful, foster biodiversity, provide habitat for wildlife, and serve as food and medicine.

You can show your appreciation for weeds by entering a drawing, painting, photo, collage, or poem in the Weeds Appreciation Day art contest by April 21, 2021. Simply follow Herbicide Free Campus  @herbicidefreecampus and look for their Weeds Appreciation Day post on instagram That’s where you will find all details including guidelines for entry, the themes of the contest, and the prizes.

Mackenzie Feldman founded Herbicide Free Cal and later, Herbicide Free Campus (HFC) out of her experience as an environmental activist at UC Berkeley. A member of the beach volleyball team, Feldman learned that an area right near the team’s practice court had been sprayed with a toxic herbicide. Her response was to fight for change. Starting in 2017, she worked with school groundkeepers, landscape managers, faculty, and other students to phase out the use of synthetic herbicides at two sites on campus. Currently, eleven UC Berkeley spaces have been converted to all organic and Feldman is bringing her passion for this cause to campuses across the country.

HFC empowers students through coaching, strategic planning, and providing resources. The group helps students advocate for changes in landscape management, retraining of groundskeeping staff, and a phase out / transition away from synthetic herbicides. Info: here

Read our article about Mackenzie Feldman’s activism at UC Berkeley and beyond.

The nasturtium watercolor above is by Annie Lu, whose artwork you can find on her instagram page.