In Boston, Massachusetts, people are celebrating their local birds! Thanks to a 2018 Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant and a collaboration with the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), the Blackstone Community Center (BCC) organized their 4th annual Celebrate Urban Birds event for the children in the community. The educational and entertaining event had various bird related activities, citizen science, greening, and more. The coordinators of this event were Amparo Ortiz from the BCC and BUSPH, Anita DeStefano from the BUSPH, multiple students from the BUSPH, and Ms. Ortiz’s daughter, Anjelique Casiano. The event was part of a summer program the BCC has for the kids in the community. The organizers coordinated multiple stations about science, data collection, and art for the children to explore, learn and most of all become excited about birds. The diversity of activities showed them how they can become participants of bird conservation in their own community!
One of the first activities was about citizen science. Children had a chance to learn how to become citizen scientists by using the Celebrate Urban Birds materials, telescopes and binoculars to identify focal bird species and to collect bird data during a 10 minute observation period. In the next station, kids learned about the data they’d collected and how often different species are observed by drawing graphs that show these patterns. They were also able to participate in an interactive presentation that showed birds that frequented the BCC.
Apart from the scientific activities, the children also had the amazing opportunity to exhibit their creativity by connecting birds to art. Children created bird-themed cards using stamps, photos, and markers! Through this activity, they applied the knowledge they’d learned in previous stations to their crafts, which was very exciting for them! The kids enjoyed learning that “Drake” was not only their favorite musician but also a male duck!
To end the day, the children had the amazing opportunity to participate in an activity that helped birds, pollinators and other animals from their community. They filled planters with bee-friendly flowering plants, improving and beautifying the environment around them!
This event made learning about bird conservation an interactive and fun experience for children. Fostering fascination with birds further motivates bird conservation in our society. By organizing this event, the coordinators passed their love for the environment and conservation on to the next generation. What a great way to introduce change!
By: Natalie Bonilla