Students and staff at the Alternatives for Success Program at Norfolk High School in Nebraska collaborated with the Elkhorn Valley Museum to explore urban birds, make their community greener, and get creative! During April and May of this past spring, students visited the museum to learn the 16 species we focus on at Celebrate Urban Birds. To put their new knowledge to the test, the birders conducted 10-minute observations all over Norfolk over the course of three days, and submitted their data to our online platform.
During their visits, they also helped care for the museum’s garden in Verges Park. Little green places are very important for birds. The students weeded out invasive species and planted native species instead, in order to attract birds and other pollinators.
In addition to being citizen scientists and gardeners, the Norfolk High School students are also artists! Another accomplishment of the collaboration between the school and museum was to create a paper mache exhibit for the Lueshen Bird Library. Among the collection are an American Crow and Rock Pigeon, and many fantastical, fictional species painted in bright blues, purples, and yellows! Now, visitors to the museum can practice focusing their binoculars on these large, brightly-colored, stationary subjects before heading outside to observe smaller birds in action.
We loved learning about the work of these young conservationists, and hope they’ll continue to make their community a more bird-friendly place as citizen scientists. Good luck!