Sandy Ferreira, long a member, field trip leader and friend of OAS is responsible for the city of Fremont’s Junior Ranger
Program based at Lake Elizabeth. She found it difficult to share her enthusiasm for birds with the Junior Rangers because they
didn’t have the ability to see them clearly.
One day, while talking to Sandy about leading a Lake Elizabeth trip for OAS, Mona Brauer and Stephanie Floyd heard about the situation and suggested to the OAS Board that we loan Sandy binoculars for her classes, Soon the Fremont Recreation Department, Phil Gordon, the Eagle Optics company and Wild Birds Unlimited of Dublin also got involved in solving the problem.
The upshot was that OAS purchased and made a long term loan if 17 pairs of binoculars to Sandy’s Junior Ranger program to allow her students make wildlife observations and study nature. Sandy was thrilled by the loan and wrote a gracious letter of appreciation to us. Below is the letter from Sandy and some photos of the kids who used the binoculars.
Dear Ohlone Audubon,
I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Ohlone Audubon members Phil and Pat Gordon, Mona Bauer and Stephanie Floyd in working together in partnership with The City Of Fremont’s Recreation Division and Eagle Optics, in support of our Junior Ranger Program and Nature Camps.
This summer, Ohlone Audubon graciously loaned 17 pair of binoculars for students and campers to use for wildlife observation and nature study in our Junior Ranger Program. This was made possible with matching funds from Ohlone Audubon and the Matching Donation Program at Eagle Optics.
Assisting organizations such as Ohlone Audubon is an important priority of Eagle Optics for over 20 years. “By helping organizations dedicated to conservation and wildlife awareness, we insure education and enjoyment opportunities for current and future generations.”
Each day during camp, the Junior Rangers went on a nature walk and observed the birds and City Wildlife. The kids were so excited to use real professional binoculars. They were amazed to see the birds and nature up close and personal. Some of the comments from the Junior Rangers included: “wow, this is amazing!!”, “I can see all the way across the lake! ” “ look at the hills!” “look how close that bird is! ” “ I can see the bugs in the lake”!!
Each day was a new adventure for the campers. Having the right “tools” and creating those hands on learning opportunities for children to learn about nature and their natural world around them, are memories and life experiences they will not forget.
Thank you for making this possible, I really do appreciate it!
Park Ranger/Clean Water Education
City of Fremont
In 2010, two of our field trip leaders, Rich Nicholson and Bill Scoggins, were kind enough to assist a Scout Troop from Pleasant Hill earn their birding merit badge. These two met with the troop and some of their parents at Coyote Hills to assist the Troop Leader in helping the boys meet their requirements to earn this badge. In addition to learning how to use and care for binoculars, the boys had to identify at least 20 different species of birds and connect the call or song of at least 5 to the bird. The boys seemed to have a great time finding the birds and the highlight of the day for many of them was seeing an American Coot with a chick. Many questioned how the baby could look so different from the adult. A few of the boy's parents were amazed at how many birds they actually saw on the 1 ½ mile walk and were sure they wouldn't have noticed nearly as many without the assistance of our two helpful leaders. This exposure just may have started another person or two down the great path of birding. Special Kudos to both Rich and Bill and hopefully we'll have more opportunities like this in the future to expand the birding population.
Mona Brauer, Field Trip Chair
This fall semester, sponsor your favorite 4th, 5th, or 6th-grade class to Audubon Adventures, the nature program of the National Audubon Society. A classroom kit contains enough material for 32 students and the cost is $40.95 ($35 plus $5.95 shipping and handling). This program has connected seven million children across the nation to nature with these in-school educational materials. Our school budgets are perennially tight; so please help a teacher at your local elementary school. This is a gift subscription that will really make a difference to the earth's future!
National Audubon Adventures Site: www.audubon.org/educate/aa/index.html
The "Habitat Means Home" poster contest is sponsored by three local environmental groups: Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, Ohlone Audubon Society, and Friends of Coyote Hills. The theme of the poster contest is a celebration of the diverse habitats and species found at Coyote Hills Regional Park. The contest is open to K – 6 students, individual prizes are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and honorable mention posters, and a $500 gift certificate from a science education supply company is issued to the school of the winning poster.
The purpose of the contest is to provide educational outreach and to make sure students understand "habitat" is more than just an abstract concept, that a "habitat" is "home" for plants and animals. We also hope students and their families will learn they can do more than just read about habitats in their textbooks. We hope they will learn a diversity of "habitats" for wildlife and plants exists within their local community at places like Coyote Hills Regional Park that they can actually explore and experience first-hand.
The 2016 Habitat Means Home Poster Contest Entry Forms are now available for elementary school students in the Fremont, Newark, and New Haven Unified School Districts. The deadline for submitting entries is 4:00 p.m. on April 29, 2016. Copies of entry forms, rules and other information may be obtained by clicking here.