Education and Outreach
Inspired by Birds!
The Education Team’s goals are “Preserve, Protect, Promote.” Almost everybody loves birds, but most are unaware that birds do amazing things! Flying for instance, made possible with adaptations like hollow bones, massive chest muscles to power the wings, and feathers for balance and steering. They also need big brains to support keen eyesight and rapid reflexes. The ASC Education and Outreach Team is always thrilled to introduce a new audience to the wonders of birds. The Team reached approximately 4,000 community members during the 2018 -19 school year, with events such as Winter Wildlife Field Day, School and Group presentations, special events held at Hesthavn Nature Center, and partner programs.
While at Home – How to Connect with Nature!
The Education Team has connected people to nature for the past 30 years, providing outreach activities for classes and events. Normally, the team can tailor programs for groups with particular interests, including Girl Scouts, School Science Night, Get Outdoors Day, Chintimini Open House, and more. ASC led the creation of Winter Wildlife Field Day, a popular March event at Finley NWR for the past five years. Events are often held at Hesthavn, our small Nature Center on Oak Creek Road.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the ASC Education Team’s plans for the coming months are on hold. But our KEY message for this year is to encourage everyone to Connect with Nature, and that is more relevant than ever. Take advantage of the unexpected break in your routine to find peace and inspiration in our natural world. Enjoy nature wherever you find it, from a bird singing in the tree outside your window to a beautiful bloom in your yard or neighborhood. Be aware and enjoy. Click on our Connect with Nature poster for ideas about how to use all your senses to explore, learn, and connect to nature around your home.
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 such as 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 Teri Engbring (enbring(at)hotmail.com) at least one month in advance to schedule a visit!
Special Nature Events
Education Team members also provide fun and interesting activities to environmental groups and the general public. From September 2018 to September 2019, 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, and more.
Beginning Birding Workshop!
Two 4-hour classes were held in February 2020 at Hesthavn Nature Center. The classes were taught by highly regarded local expert Don Boucher who has 18 years of experience instructing birding classes and leading field trips. Other Audubon volunteer instructors were on hand for assistance with binoculars. The goal was to provide a fun introduction to bird identification, field guides, binocular use, bird-watching culture, backyard birding, and more.
Other classes may be held in the future that could cover natural history, birding by ear, conservation for birds and other animals, or other topics. Keep an eye on this space for further information.
Hesthavn Nature Center
The Nature Center started life as a barn, and now it offers a museum with taxidermied birds, library, exhibits, and a classroom. Oak Creek flows through the property near the Center, and there are short trails, and a native plant garden. The Nature Center is staffed for special events, so check the website and watch for event flyers. The trails and garden are open from dawn to dusk everyday. Admission is free!
Winter Wildlife Field Day
The Sixth Annual Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley National Wildlife Refuge scheduled for March 2019 was canceled due to the coronavirus. The 2020 WWFD may been rescheduled for a later date (TBA). Contact Sam Bartling at Finley National Wildlife Refuge (541-757-7236) for more information.