The City of Valparaiso has announced a new sculpture scavenger hunt for its downtown, highlighting the work of local artists. Titled “Birds of Paradise,” the scavenger hunt features 10 original sculptures depicting native birds, hidden in key locations throughout downtown. Each sculpture is an original by local sculptor Chad Copeland and clever clues for the hunt are included in a coloring book of original bird illustrations by local artist Melissa Washburn. The coloring book of clues, a package of colored pencils and a prize for completion will all be available at the Valparaiso branch of the Porter County Public Library System.
“The Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt is a fun way to showcase our downtown and local artists as we celebrate native birds,” said Valparaiso’s Community Engagement Director Maggie Clifton, who introduced the idea. “We’ve designed the hunt to appeal to all ages and abilities. Kids will enjoy the coloring pages and spotting the birds, some flying, some perched, some ready to appear in a selfie. Even serious birders will appreciate the QR code links in the book, linking to information and even an audio file of the bird’s unique song or call,” she said. Because the birds are made of sturdy steel, the hunt can be a year-round and permanent event. Clues and guide will also be available online.
The Birds of Paradise project has received financial support from the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission, Indiana Dunes Tourism, and generous community sponsors. The City of Valparaiso has partnered with Porter County Public Library System, Valparaiso Creative Council and Indiana Audubon Society to enhance the project.
The Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt will take flight with a free kick-off event at the Rotary Library Garden on May 13, at 4:00 pm, complete with music, crafts and special guests. To learn more about Birds of Paradise, including sponsorship opportunities, visit tinyurl.com/ValpoBirds.
Photo caption: A cardinal (soon to receive his red coat) will be one of the 10 birds featured in Valparaiso’s Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt throughout downtown. For all the details on the hunt and kick off celebration on May 13, visit tinyurl.com/ValpoBirds.