The Asociación Frutos de Mi Tierra (Fruits of My Land Association), an organization of coffee growers in the Department of Tolima, Colombia, won a mini-grant from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to carry out environmental activities for their community. Since receiving the funds they have hosted many fantastic events centered around bird conservation!
Most of the activities were carried out by partnering with schools in various villages and towns in the region. Gabby Duffay Larrarte Guevara, organizer and leader of the activities, had a great impact on the local children, their teachers, and their families. By sharing her love of birds and the land, the participants were excited to join the conservation efforts. Read on to discover more about the wonderful activities organized by the Asociación Frutos de mi Tierra.
BIRD SIGHTING PROGRAM IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
The bird watching program in the botanical garden was carried out so that children and young people of the community could discuss the importance of the importance of conserving their local birds. They had discussions about the role of birds in the ecosystems and talked about the care of natural resources. Students from many educational institutions in the municipality gathered in the Raúl Echeverry Echeverry Botanical Garden in Libano, Tolima to be closer to nature!
The workshop began with a group talk about the anatomy and physiology of the birds. The participants discussed the common birds in their region and how they play important roles in agriculture as well as in the ecosystem. Participants also had the opportunity to see and identify the birds they talked about in the beautiful local botanical garden. They used binoculars, cameras, cell phones and materials from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology! Attendees loved seeing the details as well as the vibrant colors of the birds up close! In addition, they were able to see the subtle differences that exist between similar species of birds. They learned a lot and enjoyed spending time outdoors to observe birds and their local environment. The workshop also gave participants the opportunity to discover the wonders of the natural environment while learning about the importance of caring for nature. In addition, they discussed how plants serve as food and shelter for many birds. Despite the rain, the children were happy at the botanical garden planting seeds and learning about how birds help plants germinate. Many of the parents of the students stayed to accompany their children during the activities and helped to plant as well!
BIRD SIGHTING PROGRAM IN THE CORREGIMIENTO DE TIERRADENTRO:
The Asociación Frutos de mi Tierra and “FRUMITIERRA” also led an educational workshop with the students of the Luis Flórez College of the Tierradentro district, in the rural area of the municipality of Libano. The students had a lot of fun having talks at their school about the conservation of birds and their habitats. They also had bird observation tours from their student center to Finca Calú where they observed many focal birds with binoculars! They were amazed at the diverse types of birds they had in their territory. they were excited to add their observations to e-bird, helping through citizen science! The participants talked about the different trees that are planted including Guava, Trumpet Trees, mango, lemon, orange, tangerine, Drumstick Tree, cotton, Ice cream bean, achiote, and others! Seeds were distributed for participants to grow in their communities!
In the end, the participants learned more about the importance of bird care, the role of birds in ecosystems and their interrelation with flora and the significance of caring for the natural environment!
BIRD SEEING WITH THE BULGARIA VERDAS AND SILENCE PROGRAM:
The next activity carried out by the Asociación Frutos de mi Tierra was with the students of the Bulgaria School in the village of Bulgaria in the rural area of the municipality of Libano. The students participated in an introductory talk about the anatomy and physiology of birds. Participants then spoke in groups on their focal birds and the importance of birds in agriculture, culture and ecosystems. After the talk, the students were ready and excited to begin the journey to the Evenecer Estate (Finca Evenecer)! In their free time, the children and the youth learned how to handle binoculars as well as cameras, cell phones, and materials from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In the end, the students added their bird observations to e-bird and left wanting to join the conservation efforts!
OBSERVING BIRDs IN THEVEREDAS MESETA BAJA Y ALTA:
The students of Meseta Baja and Meseta Alta Schools in the rural area of the municipality of Libano, department of Tolima, Colombia, participated in a bird tour starting from their student center all the way to the Finca Patio Bonito! They also had a discussion about the importance of caring for birds and their role in the environment the anatomy and physiology of birds. The students asked about the importance of birds in their region. Participants in groups talked about how birds are very important for agriculture, culture, and ecosystems. In the end, the youth learned more about the importance of bird care and the role of birds in the ecosystem.
The Asociación Frutos de mi Tierra wishes to thank the team of FRUMITIERRA, the GECOVEL Group and the different teachers of the participating schools. Many thanks to Optics for the Tropics and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The binoculars were a valuable resource in bird watching, and learning about the environment. The children were able to observe birds in detail and were very excited to continue conservation efforts.
BIRD OBSERVATION PROGRAM IN LA VEREDA AGUADOR
A very educational and fun activity was carried out with students from various educational institutions and teachers in the Finca Monserrate, in the rural area of the municipality of Libano. Students and teachers joined together in a bird tour! The participants also talked about the importance of caring for birds and their role in the environment. The young leaders of educational institutions of the municipality and their teachers talked about the importance of their focal birds and their important role in the ecosystem.
The students and teachers also talked about the rules of conduct on how to observe birds. The materials from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped a lot! Participants were able to see the illustrations of the birds to help them identify birds that they observed during their walk. During the walk, everyone had the chance to view the copy of the book “Photographic Guide of the Birds of the Aburrá Valley”. With members of GECOVEL, FRUMITIERRA, and the students and teachers 36 species of birds were observed! The birds were reported on the e-bird platform. In the end, everyone left with information about the concept of citizen science and enthusiasm to discover more about their surroundings and their region.