Have you ever heard of the park Tangamanga located in the Mexican city San Luis Potosi? It’s a beautiful and enormous urban park! The Tangamanga park has an incredible diversity of plants and animals, and of course, it has many wonderful birds for watching and enjoying. Thanks to the fanstastic collaboration of the organization Alianza Mexicana por la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre A.C., it was posible to have the First Potosino Bird Festival at the park Tangamanga. The Alianza organizers did an excellent job for months, planning activities locally, recruiting volunteers, inviting other organizations to join the event and coordinating with local schools and transportation for hundreds of children, so that they could get to the event from the peripheral neighborhoods of the city.
During the activities, participants had the opportunity to watch and identify local birds thanks to volunteer guides –mainly university students,– adopt native shrubs and trees to plant in their yards at home, and enjoy a fun bird drawing and painting challenge about the birds they watched at the park earlier that day.
Children and adults enjoyed the time outdoors in contact with nature and discovering the birds that many participants had not noticed before in their own city. The help of volunteers was of particular importance in the birdwalks because they showed and pointed out where it was easier to watch birds, and helped with the bird identification.
Thanks to the participation of the San Luis Potosí’s Department of Ecology and Environmental Management, it was possible to give shrubs and trees for adoption and greening the neighborhoods of the interested children and their families. The children also had the opportunity to learn about local wildlife through fun educational materials, while learning about the environment around them and how to care for it.
The art challenge for the kids was especially inspiring. Children of different ages drew or painted birds that they watched earlier that day, their favorite birds, the birds they learned about in more detail when they explored the bird field guides and educational materials for the first time, or simply the birds they imagined. The children were so happy, while they were also learning about the beautiful plumages and shapes of their local birds!
During the art activities, children were organized into groups, and within each group, they children themselves chose their favorite artwork to represent them in the final stage of the challenge. What they did not know was that thanks to the local organization Grupo Valoran S.A., each child chosen by his/her own group, received a pair of binoculars as a prize to continue observing and learning about her/his local birds. To make all children happy, they received shirts and caps, which were kindly donated by the organizations Proforestal B.C. and Reysap S.A., and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources of San Luis Potosi. Many thanks to all the local organizations that made this festival a complete success! Enjoy the following photo gallery of the event!
Photos by Fernando Santillán, Alfonso Robledo and Marta del Campo.