• Fresh Approach

    Jack London Square Farmers’ Market,
    Oakland, CA

    Fresh Approach’s mission includes building and sustaining connections between urban residents and their natural surroundings. To support this mission, we are creating a garden of native plants intended to attract birds, butterflies, and pollinating insects. Our Celebrate Urban Birds event will provide an educational family event for Oakland residents, while launching the creation of the garden.

    finished green bird house
    Fresh Approach celebrated urban birds at the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market on Sunday, May 31st. The event included birdhouse painting, bird watching, and decorations of farmers’ market stalls.

    Approximately 45 children and their families participated in the birdhouse painting event. Birdhouses were painted and several children painted and drew on paper.

    We had two bird walks led by local volunteer birdwatchers. Along the way, we saw robins, grebes, cormorants, finches, gold finches, and hummingbirds.

    participant constructs and paints bird house

    “We were surprised to see so many different birds in such a dense area,” said Marlene Park, one of the birdwatchers. “I thought we would just see pigeons and seagulls,” said her husband, Bill Park.

  • Queen City Creamery

    Queen City Creamery & Deli

    Cumberland, MD
    Celebrate Urban Birds – 2009 Events

    Store Program Community Greening and Birds

    In addition to our normal plantings around the main store we did the following:

    • Across the alley we had additional plantings and a bird bath.
    • We assumed responsibility for a “Planter Box” on the Downtown Mall that included the plantings, a bird bath, and a sign.
    • To distribute seeds packets and plantings, we held a “Plant Day” on the weekend of June 6th.

    • Library Program with the Arts Bus Birds, Reading, and the Arts

      Visits were made to each of the six county libraries with the Allegany Arts Council Arts Bus in conjunction with the summer reading programs – Be Creative @ Your Library ( ages 5 – 12 ) and Express Yourself @ Your Library ( ages 12 and up).

      During the 2 hour visits participants either made a bird from a paper bag and various supplies or colored a bird. While groups of eight were on the bus, others participated in programs inside the library or had their ice cream cone!


      Participating libraries included: Georges Creek Branch, Frostburg Branch, LaVale Branch, Westernport Branch, Main Library, and South Cumberland Branch.

      Each Library event was at an information/distribution location for the Celebrate Urban Birds project. Each location was also a display area for the arts projects submitted.

      Each person who submitted a completed data collection form received a free ice cream cone from the Creamery!

    • Samson Reading Club

      SCHEDULE & AGENDA

      SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2009
      TIME: 10:00AM – 12:30 PM (KICK OFF)

      Introduction to birdwatching. Listen to sounds of birds CD and read along with the youth speaking about birds. Visit Midfield Library to get additional books about birds in our region and other regions also.

      SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2009
      TIME: 10:00AM – 12:30 PM

      Study bird sounds with CD and books, then give knowledge of birds sound quizzes.

      SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2009
      TIME: 10:00AM – 12:30 PM

      Put 3 bird houses together, paint with donated paint. Two will be placed in midfield community park, and one at Midfield Library during the bird watch event on next Saturday.
      SATURDAY, MAY 9,2009
      TIME: 10:00AM – 12:30 PM

      Birdwatch day! We will hang the bird houses in the park, then birdwatch for 10 minutes. In the pavilion, we’ll fill in our Celebrate Urban Birds data sheets and information. While lunch is being prepared to celebrate the event we will give out certificates and invites at that time.

      Schedule:

      10:00 PARTICIPANTS ARRIVE

      10:30 LISTEN TO CD’S AND READ ABOUT BIRDS

      11:30 PARTICIPANTS RECORD AND WRITE INFORMATION

      12:00 LUNCH SERVED

      12:30 CLUB MEETING IS DISMISSED

      Celebrate Urban Birds Stephens Community Development Corporation

      In partnership with the City of Midfield, Alabama, Samson’s Reading Club invited members, new members, junior mentors and their parents and the community to join us for a morning of creativity, food and fun!

      Midfield Community Park
      A variety of water fowl joined Samson’s Reading Club in celebration of urban birds.

      An ideal setting to Celebrate Urban water Birds
      Our event was held at Midfield community center in the pavilion next to a pond stocked with fish and home to many ducks and geese.

      Lots of activities
      At our event, participants were invited to read about birds, paint bird houses, and of course, observe birds!

    • Museum of the City of New York

      The Museum of the City of New York’s Neighborhood Explorers hosted a lovely Celebrate Urban Birds event with Central Park East Elementary School in East Harlem on October 13, 2009. The event aligned perfectly with the goals of Neighborhood Explorers, which is a free after-school program that teaches high school students to become active participants in shaping a community. Using principles of architecture, planning and design, students propose creative solutions to existing issues—such as a scarcity of habitat in a built environment—in the Museum’s East Harlem neighborhood.

      teaching participants about bats
      This after-school event was attended by approximately 50 people (comprised of elementary school students and their families) including special guest Karen Purcell from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The celebration was held in the school’s courtyard garden, where twelve birdhouses and one bat house purchased with the Celebrate Urban Birds grant were decorated by elementary students. In the spring, the houses will be hung throughout the school’s courtyard and students will maintain and monitor them.

      display of bird houses and books
      Cornell Lab of Ornithology Celebrate Urban Birds information packets were provided for all participants at the event; additional packets were left in the care of teaching staff at Central Park East (CPE) to be shared with students who were unable to participate in the event. Student participants used reference books and other materials to draw colorful images of bird species and their habitats. Additional activities including a sing-along led by the CPE music teacher and bird naming and movement activities kept the students engaged and entertained.

      participants coloring on the table
      We hope that the new habitat provided by the birdhouses in Central Park East’s courtyard will attract many birds for the students to observe, study, and enjoy.

    • Louisa County Conservation Board

      Halloween Hike: A Bird’s Eye View
      October 17, 2009
      Louisa County Conservation Board
      Wapello, IA

      The 2009 Halloween Hike enjoyed a beautiful Saturday evening for its event. The Louisa County Conservation Board staff began setting out pumpkins with Boy Scouts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and ended their day at 11:30 p.m. as they gathered in the last of the costumes and props. The event went very smoothly and was greatly enjoyed by all who participated. Comments included that it was both educational and entertaining.

      The 2009 Halloween Hike, A Bird’s Eye View, was very successful. Almost 500 people participated in the hike.

      178 upper elementary and home school students participated in pumpkin carving
      Two scout troops placed and gathered jack-o-lanterns
      16 volunteers kept pumpkins lit, created costumes, baked cookies, served refreshments,
      took photos, managed parking and ran water to actors
      28 actors learned lines and performed, repeatedly, for 3 hours
      259 children and adults walked the jack-o-lantern-lit trail to see skits on birds

      This year’s skits included:

      Intro to Birds: A mother reads to her daughter from a Dr. Seuss book about all the wonderful birds that make up our world and what makes birds unique.

      Cy and Herky: Popular University mascots face off, comparing the life of urban birds to rural birds. Both mascots are based on birds. Cy, of Iowa State University, is a muscular Northern Cardinal and Herky, of University of Iowa, is a Hawk.

      Bird Feeders: Bird feeder types and placement are discussed by a knowledgeable naturalist while she is being heckled by two persistent squirrels. The squirrels keep an ongoing commentary on the intelligence of birds, hazards of cats, ease of some feeders to raid and hazards of bird lovers with guns.


      Citizen Nature Counts: A beautiful Baltimore Oriole learns about citizen science nature
      counts from a snapping turtle. Both are observing a human who apparently is participating in a 10-Minute Urban Bird count.

      Clean Your Feeders: A saucy House Sparrow meets a kindly nuthatch at a feeder. Both are disgusted at the state of the feeder and the ground underneath. Their discussion centers on care and maintenance of feeders and the area around them.

      Neighborhood Watch: Native birds gather at a neighborhood watch meeting to talk on how to deal with predators. The meeting was facilitated by a Turkey Vulture. The agenda included a chickadee explaining the tactics of mobbing predators, an American Robin discussing distress calls and a Killdeer giving a demonstration of the broken wing act.

      Bird Chant: Utilizing April Sayre’s Book “Bird, Bird, Bird,” the Wapello High School Drama department paired up with the Winfield 4-H to create a dynamic bird chant. As the drama crew recited the rap, the 4-H group lifted large pictures of each of the 64 birds named in the chant.

      At the shelter house participants could enjoy hot cider, hot cocoa, and cookies after their hike.

      This year information about the Celebrate Urban Birds program was also available with handouts on habitat development in yards or acreages, suet cake recipes and bird feeder information.

      The shelter house was also the gathering place after the last hike for all the volunteers and actors for a “cast pizza party”. This became a good way to talk over the event, share stories, refuel and enjoy the last of the cookies, cider and hot chocolate.

      Overall comments were positive and hinted that the skits were more educational this year than funny. One mother commented that she had learned a lot of new things from this hike.

    • Wisconsin Youth Company, Inc.

      Wisconsin Youth Company’s Urban Bird Day was a wonderful success. Activities included the arts, bird walks, making recycled bird feeders, and planting seeds. The event was held on April 25th.

      Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate (it poured rain all morning, and then was very windy, cloudy and cool for the afternoon), so art activities were moved indoors.

      In addition to the Urban Bird Day event, the Wisconsin Youth Company hosted an additional event on June 5th with a bird focus for our family night for their youth and family center. They did lots of bird activities for the kids and families, and distributed Celebrate Urban Bird kits.

      All of this has sparked a lot of interest in birds for the staff. The building where they work now has birdfeeders out front, as does their west side building. The youth center kids keep them filled and are really excited about their bird sightings.

      Because they have programming all summer, and into the fall, they continued to focus on birds. It fit well with their outdoor education programs, and camps.

      Some of their After School sites participated in the count at their various centers as well.

    • Avimor Community

      We, the residents of the Avimor Community, near Boise, Idaho, hosted our Celebrate Urban Birds event on Saturday, May 16th at Foothills Heritage Park. About 40 children, plus parents, participated in a great variety of activities and projects set up at stations around the park. Our activities included:

      Art Projects

      Coloring pages of the 15 species of special interest were available to younger children. These coloring pages were designed to help the children recognize the key indentifying characteristics of the birds. They were able to color using crayons, colored pencils, or markers.

      Sculpting clay was used by older children and some adults to study the size and shape attributes of the birds.

      Bird mosaics made from construction paper pieces was another art medium enjoyed by a few.

      Paint and small canvases were used by older children to make their own creations focusing on the 15 birds. We found some very talented kids who learned to recognize the birds around them because they painted them.

      Three resident ladies volunteered and did a great job assisting the kids in creating bird art. I had created large posters showing each of the 15 birds emphasizing their main identifying traits to help guide the kids as they created their art projects.

      Wildlife Sustaining Plants

      One of the Avimor landscapers, Michael Wiegand, who specializes in native plants assisted groups of kids in planting a few different varieties in a section of Foothills Heritage Park that has not yet been planted. He educated the kids on the importance of these plants to birds and insects and how the ecosystem is dependent upon every part. There is nothing like planting to connect a child with the earth and feel some responsibility and stewardship toward nature.

      participants plant wildlife in a garden

      Wild Flower Walk

      Avimor has a Conservation Director who oversees our conservation and restoration efforts. Charlie led a group of folks to check out the blooming wild flowers in the foothills.

      Bird Walk

      I led several small groups of children and parents on the trails around Foothills Heritage Park. We were able to identify nine of the 15 birds during the short walks during the event including:

      • American Robin
      • yellow bird perched on a tree branch
      • Barn Swallow
      • Brown-headed Cowbird
      • Bullock’s Oriole
      • European Starling
      • House Finch
      • Killdeer
      • Mallard
      • Mourning Dove
      • I had set up several bird feeders in various locations around the park so that young children would be able to observe the birds without the aid of binoculars. I’m glad that I did as it sparked huge amounts of amazement by children and parents alike. We also observed 22 other species including a pair of Lewis’s Woodpeckers which hung out all afternoon near the art stations. Not to mention our Great Horned Owl chick.

        Music

        A fantastic band called Bellamy Rose performed to cap off our event. The lead singer is an Avimor resident and a regular attendee at the Avimor bird walks. Their original music impressed the 75 people still hanging out that evening at Avimor.

        On-Going Results

        display of colorful drawings of various bird species

        We had forty children rather than the 100 we had planned for. It turns out that we were competing against three other kid-related birding events held in this area on the very same day at the MK Nature Center, Snake River Birds of Prey, and Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge. Though I was disappointed with our attendance, I am overjoyed at the bird friendly atmosphere in Idaho’s Treasure Valley region. I was starting to feel bad that the good folks at Cornell Lab of Ornithology had sent me 100 CUB kits, but my disappointment quickly dissipated as a local public school teacher was so impressed with what we did our Celebrate Urban Birds event that I was invited to visit her science classes at Sawtooth Middle School in Meridian, ID. That visit was realized on Friday, May 22nd. I repeated some of the activities we did on the day of our event at Avimor with the addition of a CUB 15 Bird ID Game on PowerPoint. Those middle school kids were fully engaged in the presentation and discussion. It was absolutely wonderful.

        Mrs. Richter also left me an uplifting note telling me about one of her students, a young man from a very troubled family. This boy who “rarely cares enough to do anything” and never completes a task for the first time was deeply interested in something – birds. His thank you letter was written legibly and he expressed excitement about watching the Peregrine Falcon nest webcam in Boise on the internet at home. She says that the birds made a big impression on him.

        So our Celebrate Urban Birds event expanded to capture the hearts and minds of 60 more kids who each received CUB kits and walked away with commitments to do three bird counts and submit them to Cornell on the form provided. We have arranged for a special bird walk at Avimor for these classes and their families in June.

        At Avimor we will continue our monthly bird walks held on the second Saturday of each month. At the conclusion of these walks, I have the participants assist me in entering our observations on eBird so that they will go home and start their own eBird accounts.

        We plan to make Celebrate Urban Birds an annual event here at Avimor.

      • Windsor Park Library

        Our Goal:

        To bring together Windsor Park Community’s diverse populations to celebrate and make aware of, as well as create an interest in, our natural environment: birds, plants, insects, et. al. We surpassed our original goal not only in terms of numbers of expected attendees, (from 50 to over 100), but also in the overall scope of the program. The depth, diversity of activities and participation of several organizations far exceeded our original planning to include: The city of Austin Parks and Recreation Wildlife Austin, Windsor Park Community Garden, The Sustainable Food Center, Travis County Master Gardeners, Capital Area Master Naturalist, Move Your Tale, Laurie Mann, Robin Doughty University of Texas Geography Department, City of Austin City Arborist., and Spider Joe.

        photo of man performing and little girl dancing to the music

        Our Method and Intention:

        We felt the best way to achieve our goal, was to create a community, arts and nature festival with events and activities to include a mini-talk on Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring by Dr. Robin Doughty University of Texas Geography. The intent of the festival went beyond merely celebrating or entertaining, we wanted to educate attendees about, and to spark an interest in, the natural world around them.

        Our focus was primarily on birds using activities like ”eat like a bird” based on the shape of the bird beak, creating a bird garden, painting a bird on a rock to put around our bird garden, planting seeds in our bird garden, learning how to use binoculars to watch birds, how to photograph birds, counting birds for Cornell Ornithology Lab making a bird mural for hanging on the library wall, meeting live birds, making bird bombs [feeders made of bird seed, clay and compost} and making bird houses. We also provided bird-related books for sale and check-out.

        The program also included education and activities about/with plants, insects, organic gardening, sustainable food gardening, and growing “green” i.e., planting environmentally safe/native plants that fit in better with the environment and use less water. We also had books for sale and check out on these topics.

        Program

        photo of the program of the event

        Agenda

        photo of the agenda of the event

        Our Marketing:

        Our marketing and communications department produced posters and flyers.

        photo of the marketing flyer
        We generated a press release that appeared very early on the Austin Public Library website. I also placed an invitation and information on the Windsor Park Neighborhood newsletter and on the neighborhood listserv. We also promoted books with a display about birds, nature, and insects.

        As we drew near the day of the event a press release was sent to several local newspapers, radio and television stations. Several people who came to the event and after the event told me they heard the announcement on our local, and very popular, public radio station KUT. Below is a copy of what was on our library website. In addition we put all the same information and more on the City of Austin Event Calendar.

        We took posters and flyers to local coffee shops, businesses and grocery stores that we thought would best suit our program projected audience. I also put the information included in the flyers on the Windsor Park Neighborhood and Mueller Neighborhood listservs.

        Meet some of your neighbors,

        learn about Noah the pigeon, discuss the book Silent Spring, eat donuts/muffins, drink coffee, learn how to photograph wildlife, hunt for spiders, go bird watching and collect data for Cornell University, learn how to create a wildlife habitat in your backyard, learn how to create a master garden, learn about sustainable food gardening, learn about trees, meet a hawk, learn about rescuing wildlife, learn how to paint a bird, make a mural for the library, make a bird feeder, learn all the things you can do with Travis Audubon, learn how to eat like a bird, learn how to be a master tracker, learn how to build a bird house, plant a bird garden, be in a play, drink lemonade, eat lunch and listen to music. Wear old clothes you can paint in, bring a musical instrument and play along with Bill Oliver!

        The other side of this was a copy of our wildly popular poster for the event.

        participants display their artwork of birds
        The day of the event we posted a reminder and information about door prizes on both of the above listservs: The first 15 people would receive a door prize. (The door prizes consisted of items we’d purchased at our bookstore: a bird puppet, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring , a birdwatchers notebook, a drawing book of birds in flight, the humming bird feeders you sent us, items the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Wildlife Austin donated as door prizes and some puzzles using birds. All were given away.

        We also put up signs and posters in the front of the library announcing the event.

        The Event – Inside

        photo of the books display inside
        Pictures of birds including –Noah the pigeon (a rescue story about a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon that cares for orphaned bunnies)—were used to decorate our walls. Noah’s story seemed a most proper way of starting a conversation and program about birds.

        • A table was set up with pamphlets, brochures and other items of interest and education from Cornell and local nature groups.
        • We included a table with bird and nature related books that were for sale (50 cents for children picture books, $1 for adult paper back and $2 adult hardback. We sold $17.00 worth of books, which went into our library fund.)
        • Table with bird related books for check out.
        • Dr. Doughty discussing Carson’s Silent Spring.
        • photo of participants inside

          The Event – Outside

          photo of sustainable foods display outside
          Many neighbors and presenters gathered early to help set up the tables and canopies outside. (I forgot to mention that the temperature predicted for that day—and did indeed achieve 100 degrees.)

          Our Program: Celebrating a Shared Environment: a nature, birds and arts festival

          • Our bird garden the day before. Not all the rocks have been put around it at this time.
          • participant finishes her large painting of birds and trees
          • Kristen Henn with Move Your Tale creating drama about birds.
          • Looking at our birds: Hawk and Owl with Austin Wildlife Rescue
          • Prep work for mural with Library Youth Services staff member, Ambray Gonzales
          • Paint bird on rock activity with Linda Anderson (rocks were put around bird garden).
          • Alice Nance with City of Austin Parks and Recreation Wildlife Austin.
          • Bill Oliver, Mr. Habitat, entertaining.
          • Summary:

            Because people came and went during the day, it’s not obvious how many people were there without having been there, but attendance reached our goal of 100 even with the high temperatures of the day.

            workers explains insects to a participant outside
            People were very enthusiastic and wanted to repeat this event next year and in fact expect it to be part of our annual programming. We had a grandmother who had brought her two grand children and after Dr. Dougthy’s discussion of Silent Spring said she was going to read the book and being one of the first to arrive got a door prize and was delighted that Silent Spring was one of the door prizes and snatched it up with great joy. One of her grand children refused to go home until she was permitted to plant her seeds in the bird garden. Another child, Dante, insisted on planting a bird garden when he got home, but had to be talked out of it due to the heat. Bill Oliver arrived 2 hours early and played for over an hour though he was contracted to play for only 20 minutes and had originally planned on arriving a few minutes before his performance. He was very enthusiastic about the agenda. To quote him: “What an agenda” and could not believe that the designer of our poster was someone who worked for the library. Many people also signed up to have their backyard certified as a wildlife habitat. The neighborhood association is attempting to win the City challenge to have the most yards certified as wildlife habitats. This was the neighborhood contribution to the program: to make this announcement and commencement of this neighborhood effort at our program.

            Conclusion:

            The program was a very positive event in the neighborhood which achieved our goals and more. In this partnership with Cornell Ornithology Lab and others, we helped:

            • To bring diverse populations together to celebrate and get to know one another.
            • To celebrate birds with: live birds to look at, birds eating, painting birds, photographing birds, painting rocks with birds, creating birdhouses for birds, creating and planting a bird garden, meeting the people at Audubon, learning about Cornell and its programs which one can participate.
            • To understand the relation of insects to birds.
            • To understand the relationship and importance of trees to birds and wildlife (and our lives).
            • To understand the relation of organic and sustainable gardening to our environment and our feathered friends.
            • To involve the community garden people and the Mennonite Church next door with the project : (they donated the land and were helpful and very supportive and encouraging).
            • To get books about birds in the hands of adults and children.
            • To connect Austin Public Library to the Green City undertaking and all the groups involved with these projects that protect and monitor our shared environment.
            • Lion’s Den

              Celebrate Urban Birds at The Lion’s Den in Indian Orchard
              June 6, 2009

              crowd enjoying a performance

              The Lion’s Den Youth Outreach Center is a sanctuary for youth in Indian Orchard, MA. Their mission statement is:

              “Creating Safe Places for Youth to Encounter Christ”

              participants enjoying the event outside
              The Lion’s Den Celebrate Urban Birds event included puppets, musicians, data collection, planting flowers that are friendly to urban birds, and lunch!

              girl painting for the event
              Children of all ages learned about urban birds, looked for birds and helped local artists paint a large picture of birds.

              The event provided the community with a weekend event for the family and helped neighborhood children learn more about the Lion’s Den, a youth center that is a safe place for youth to connect with other youth in a safe manner and learn about Jesus Christ.

              See the article about the event in the Republican here

              plants and mini bird houses in the ground

              participants shares a message with the crowd

              particpants walking along old train tracks

              participant's final artwork

              performance in witch costume

              participants pointing into the sky

            • Ward Museum

              P.A.Y. Day of Service

              On this day we gave birds seeds and we sewed flower seeds but most of all we planted seeds of hope in the hearts of young people. We are helping the community one seed at a time. A harvest of change is sure to come!

              “Community leaders and volunteers celebrated AmeriCorps Week and the P.A.Y. Day of Service on Saturday, May 16, 2009, at the newly dedicated Garland Hayward Youth Center in Princess Anne, MD.

              participants preparing the soil

              Volunteers planted raised beds and installed bird houses and bird feeding stations to enhance wildlife habitat around the Center. Event organizers included the Garland Hayward Youth Center, the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, the Town of Princess Anne, and ShoreCorps/PALS.

              participants building bird houses
              I had the honor of representing the Commissioners of Governor O’Malley’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. The GOSV supports and promotes volunteer efforts that engage all Marylanders to strengthen their communities.”—Jim Rapp

              Grants from AmeriCorps and Celebrate Urban Birds made the event possible for the approximately 40 youth and 20 adults who participated in the first ever Princess Ann Youth Day of Service. These grants sponsored this “kickoff” event.’

              participants preparing and placing bird feeders
              Ongoing activities will include maintenance of the gardens and ongoing citizen science and bird education using the Celebrate Urban Birds curriculum from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

              participants digging ground

            • Alzheimer’s Alliance

              We had an incredible time during the CUB event, “Making Memories Fly!”
              Boyd Sanders, Texas State Parks and Wildlife Bird Specialist, Roger DeHaven (“Wonderful Wednesdays” participant) and a fourth grader from East Texas Christian Academy….bird watching during the event.

              participant planting flowers during the event
              A man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s joined us for the first time during the event. His family had heard about “Making Memories Fly!” and encouraged him to attend due to his great interest in birding. He seemed to enjoy all of the activities. This event gave his wife an opportunity to take a time of respite to run errands and rest for a few hours for the first time in a long time.

              The event began by sharing a “people” bird food snack and talking about where birds find food. Everyone had an answer they wanted to share. Boyd then talked with the group about the birds of our area while sharing a power point slide show.

              girls with young plants
              The rain held off long enough for us to do the bird observation and gardening. The fourth graders had planted the sunspot sunflower seedlings in advance for us to add to others purchased for the containers. The fourth grade class is doing more bird observation and recording during class within the next week or so and mailing in the postcards due to the rain issue. However, I am happy to report that with Boyd’s help we spotted the following six species just during the 10 minutes or so we were out during the event in the school courtyard and using our binoculars toward the street and powerlines:

              • Scissortail Flycatcher
              • House Sparrow
              • American Robin
              • Cedar Waxwing
              • Killdeer
              • Mourning Dove
              • Birds LOVE East Texas…..and we love having them around!

                participants listen and learn about birds
                Boyd used the plush birds we ordered from the Online Nature Mall that have recorded songs and had a hand-held device with him that we used to match the calls of birds outside to their picture. He was a HUGE help and I believe he loved every minute of it!

                During the last half of the event, the “Wonderful Wednesday” Alzheimer’s Day Club participants enjoyed picking their own bird picture and pasting it on a tree we had hanging on the wall. This bird collage was a fun opportunity for participants to make a choice, use fine motor skills and stretching while pasting the bird in the tree…and a sense of belonging while accomplishing the collage as a group.

                participant pasting artwork

                presenting and explaining a poster of birds

                The bird scrapbook turned out beautifully and will be used for years to come.

              • New Settlement’s Bronx Helpers

                Welfare of companion and wild animals

                The New Settlement’s Bronx Helpers are working with staff of the NYC Parks Department to observe birds at Pelham Bay Park.

                This activity follows more than one month of work that the New Settlement’s Bronx Helpers have put into a focus on the welfare of companion and wild animals. New Settlement’s Bronx Helpers are learning about ways that they can promote animal welfare through education, advocacy and decision-making in their daily lives.

                While in Pelham Bay Park, they will learn about what species live in that natural habitat and ways that they can protect those species and their environment.

                What is the Bronx Helper’s Program?

                With the motto, “Working for the Community to Better Our Lives,” the Bronx Helpers program provides 80 youth (grades 6-12) with the opportunity for leadership development, civic engagement and community service. Bronx Helpers identify and learn about issues affecting their communities and participate in service projects to improve the neighborhood. Recent program themes include “Environmental Issues Affecting the South Bronx” and “Promoting Good Nutrition and Fighting Hunger.”

                What is New Settlement?

                New Settlement Apartments is a not-for-profit housing & community service organization, located in an underserved area of the southwest Bronx, with a 15-year track record of active commitment to neighborhood revitalization and community development–including working toward excellence in community public schools. An integral part of the progressive housing philosophy embraced by New Settlement is that “housing is not just bricks and mortar.” Our mission is not only to rebuild and maintain a sizeable portion of the housing stock in this impoverished neighborhood, but also to support the rebuilding of its social capital. Year-round community services and education programs are structured in direct response to the interests of neighborhood residents, who are low-income Blacks and Latinos, including many new immigrants. Programs serving over 2,800 youth and adults each year are staffed by paid professionals and dedicated volunteers.