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.
Winter Wildlife Field Days
The Seventh Annual Winter Wildlife Field Days at Finley National Wildlife Refuge scheduled for March 1 – 14 is a virtual event this year. ASC and 17 other partners have created many activities that you can do at home. Just like previous years, you can earn a Wildlife Explorer patch when you complete the WWFD Passport. ASC has three stations this year: Scavenger Hunt where you earn points as you find specific things in nature, Backyard Birds which introduces you to the natural history of common birds you can see in the Willamette Valley, and How to Help Birds in Your Backyard which can help you turn your backyard into a bird-friendly oasis. The host this year is Finley National Wildlife Refuge – contact Sam Bartling 541-757-7236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids and Nature
Looking for new adventures for kids? A plethora of nature activities from across Audubon’s educators, including the classroom curriculum Audubon Adventures, plus related DIY activities and content from Audubon’s editors. These activities can be done at home or in a yard or park. Allow kids to find their own connections to nature.
The goal isn’t to teach a child how to name and identify bird species, but rather to give them space to explore and feel connected to the natural world. You don’t need to worry about your own knowledge of birds or plants. Just be a companion to your child’s curiosity!
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.
Hesthavn Nature Center
New Bluebird Trail Exhibit
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!
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!
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.