Photo by Marta del Campo

In partnership with the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County (La LIGA) and with funds from the Smith Lever Foundation, CUBs and the Syracuse bilingual after school extracurricular group Nuestro Futuro (Our Future) are working with Syracuse youth on a fantastic project that displays the connections between humans, birds, and their habitat in urban environments.

The plan centers around the creation of a model, or diorama, of the children’s Syracuse neighborhood, which they will be constructing over the next several months. As you can see from some of these photos, they’ve already gotten some practice in bird origami, and they’re getting ready to take their crafting to the next level in an educational representation of the relationships between landscapes and avian wildlife in manmade spaces. The 3D mock-up of their neighborhood with markers for where they’ve spotted birds will allow them to see how they don’t necessarily have to go to the park or the zoo to see animals, as long as there’s enough green space to go around!

In the slideshow by Marta del Campo below, the children are looking for birds in local parks and making bird origami with guidebook-informed colors and markings:

The kids have been meeting and working together every Tuesday since May 6th and will continue till June 24th. Early on, they all picked the local bird that they wanted to be: the most popular by far is the Blue Jay, but others include the Rock Pigeon, Peregrine Falcon, and even a couple Flamingos (thanks to the Syracuse Zoo)! On June 27th, they’ll travel to Cornell to present their diorama and discuss what they’ve learned about birds and how they can help protect and extend their habitat. Hopefully that experience will encourage them to connect with the university and inspire them to apply there in the future!