The event integrated naturalist information about urban birds, creation of an urban bird garden space on-campus at the University of North Texas, and a collaborative art project. Our art project was unique.
David Taylor, poet and essayist, wrote a poem detailing twelve common urban birds in North Central Texas: American Crow, American Robin, Barn Swallow, Black-crowned Night Heron, Brown-headed Cowbird, Bullock’s Oriole, House Finch, House Sparrow, Killdeer, Mallard, Mourning Dove, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Pigeon (all Celebrate Urban Birds focal species).
The poem was incomplete—each section detailing one of the birds had a beginning, but needed to be completed by participants, allowing them to add additional writing and artwork.
The sections were 48”x60”. Each section was then connected to the others. Together with an introduction and conclusion, the collective work is 4’ x 70’.
The mural is currently displayed in the lobby of the UNT Environmental Education Science and Technology building and later will be displayed at venues throughout the City of Denton.
The youth who filled the art piece came through the Elm Fork Education Center at UNT. They were exposed to both biological information of the local birds ,and fun, artistic ways to represent the birds.
The mural ended up being a focal point for the kids. After they had been through all of the educational booths and urban bird planting; they brought not only fantastic art skills but also a new-found knowledge of urban birds.