Education and Outreach
Inspired by Birds!
Past Events and Activities
Family Birding TrailsOffered in Spring 2022 for children ages 2 – 8 years. For more info: Education Team for 2023/24 schedule.
Kids! Nature Projects for FunLooking for new adventures for kids? For local fun, discover the most common species in four Corvallis parks and track down the food, water, shelter, and plants that the park’s birds need to survive. Park worksheets:
Audubon Adventures is an online publication by National Audubon Society educators that features a creative group of nature activities, games, DIY projects, and lessons at home to keep your child busy and entertained. For instance, explore how you can identify a bird by its feet and beak (Whose Beak? Whose Feet?). Many activities are designed for young nature lovers in grades 3-5, but they can be fun for the whole family.
These activities prepare kids to find their own connections to nature. The goal isn’t to teach a child how to identify birds, but to give them an opportunity to explore and feel connected to the natural world. Don’t worry about your own knowledge of birds or plants. Just be a companion and enjoy your child’s curiosity!
Other nature activities – Do-it-Yourself Project (National Audubon Society)
Birding in Your Backyard – Bilingual
Winter Wildlife Field Days
Before 2015, there were many local events for children in spring, summer, and fall for children, but few in the winter. To make exploring nature a year-round activity, OSU undergraduate student Jeremy Felty partnered with ASC’s Teri Engbring and a William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge manager for more than six months. The first annual Winter Wildlife Field Day was held in March 2015 at Finley NWR, and it was an amazing success with 300 visitors participating. ASC led the event through 2019 – drawing 350 in 2016, 450 in 2017, 800 in 2018, and 700 “kids” in 2019! Since 2020, Finley (NWR) staff have led the organization effort. Contact Sam Bartling 541-757-7236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for current information.
In 2023, the Annual Winter Wildlife Field Days at Finley National Wildlife Refuge changed into a month-long program from March 1-31. The partners created many activities that were held is several places. ASC Education volunteers contributed a total of 24 hours as they led bird walks in three parks: Starker Arts Park had 108 visitors; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park had 121 visitors; and Village Green Park had 49 visitors.
Special Nature Events
Education Team members also provide fun and interesting activities to environmental groups and the general public. ASC has staffed outreach activities including Hesthavn family programs, Girl Scout camps, Corvallis Sustainability Fair, Oregon State University Earth Day, Get Outdoors Day at Peavy Arboretum, Chintimini Open House, Winter Wildlife Field Days, and more.
School and Groups
For more than 30 years, Education Team volunteers have provided interpretive programs for schoolchildren. We have developed traveling programs and exhibits that are fun, interactive, and educational, such as Measure Your Wingspan and Compare It to Local Birds. Other programs include How Birds Fly, What Can I Eat with This Beak?, How Do Bats and Birds Differ, Birds as Pollinators, games like Predator vs. Prey Tag and Migration Madness, and more!
ASC volunteers bring exhibits and activities to schools or other places on request. Groups including Girl and Boy Scouts, nature clubs, and home schools may also request an activity. We love to share at Science Nights at local schools! Contact the Education Team (email@example.com) at least one month in advance to schedule a visit!
Hesthavn Grounds and Nature Center
Hesthavn is a former horse pasture, and the name means “horse harbor” in Norwegian. The small barn was renovated and named Hesthavn Nature Center. The heated facility makes it possible to provide classes for schoolchildren, groups, and the general public year-round. It also functions as a museum for wildlife specimens, display area for exhibits, library, and meeting place. The Nature Center is open occasionally for public events, and the event details will be posted on the website homepage, Facebook, and Instagram.
Hesthavn connects the community with wildlife in their native habitat of oak savannah and Oak Creek riparian forest. Oak Creek flows through the Hesthavn grounds and joins the Marys River in Corvallis. The property includes two short trails, native plant garden, and bird feeders. Two picnic tables under a shady tree await casual picnickers! No water is available at Hesthavn, but a composting toilet is onsite. The grounds are open from dawn until dusk every day.
Hesthavn Info, Map
New ‘Bluebird Trail’ Exhibit
The Nature Center once housed horses and now it houses a special room with taxidermied birds, plus a library, exhibits, games, and a classroom. Oak Creek flows through the property near the Center, and there are short hiking trails, and a native plant garden. The Nature Center is staffed for special events, so check the website and watch for event flyers. Admission is free!
Junior Birding Program: Beginning Birding Classes
Every Friday for 10 weeks children (ages 8 – 13) learned to use binoculars and field guides, get an up-close view of Audubon’s bird, egg, and nest specimens, learn about flight, and explore how local birds adapt to their habitat. Kids explored activities about bird conservation and looked for different birds and habitats on guided trail walks. The classes took place at Hesthavn or at a local park. Check back for 2023-24 classes: email firstname.lastname@example.org.