The Horticultural Society of New York in conjunction with PS 153, a school in the West Harlem section of Manhattan, has come up with a great way to engage their young students in greening and bird watching activities in their own neighborhoods. Ten classes of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders participated in an activity in which they got to pot a plant and were able to take it home with them. They also enjoyed a presentation by Wild Bird Fund and got to see a live bird.
The Horticultural Society of New York also taught a four week program with second grade students at PS 153. The students were able to study local habitats, ecosystems, animal adaptations, like bird beaks, camouflage, and migration. The students also got the opportunity to make their own field guides of local birds. Afterwards the students went on a walk to the local Hamilton Grange National Memorial to celebrate urban birds. They recorded the birds they saw during their walk.
This program was a very successful and exciting way to introduce students to local wildlife and parks. They are very enthusiastic and observant now!