Latino Outdoors is a national organization devoted to bringing Latinos outdoors to explore nature, learn, and play! This past August 7th, Latino Outdoors, one of our 2015 Mini-Grant winners, put together a wonderful series of events named “Celebrate Urban Birds” in Modesto, California. Located in the Central Valley of California, the three-day event took place in the Tuolumne River Regional Park geared towards students and their families to learn about urban birds, especially local birds.
During the event, the students created birding journals and learned how to spot and listen to birds. Daniel, 7, was particularly excited about this part of the event: “I’m going to write this all down in my journal!” Additionally, they made a trip to the Great Valley museum and made great observations identifying the birds of the Central Valley region of California. Ultimately, this ended up being everyone’s favorite activity, because they loved identifying the birds’ beautiful patterns! One of the moms said that more trips like these should be organized so kids could visit their local parks or museums. It was awesome to have side-by-side events where the students could observe birds on the site and in the museum! On the last day, students planted sunflower seeds, made bird feeders, made beautiful watercolor paintings, and ended the festivities with a delicious potluck. Things got a little messy but it was lots of fun. Combining science and art turned out to be super fun and exciting!
Raquel Rangel, who put together the “Celebrate Urban Birds” event and the Latino Outdoors regional coordinator of the California Central Valley, says that the event aimed to instill a sense of curiosity about the outdoors for the community she worked with. For her, the most important takeaway of the event was the involvement of the entire family. She states that she also wanted to get the parents involved so that they, too, could enjoy the magnificence of the world of birds and of nature. Raquel was thrilled at the number of participants who attended the events and was excited to give back to her community. Nature is important and for everyone!
Check out some cool pictures from “Celebrate Urban Birds” below!