Sandy Ferreira, now retired, previously managed the city of Fremont’s Junior Ranger Program based at Lake Elizabeth. She found it difficult to share her enthusiasm for birds with the City's 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 the City's Junior Ranger program to allow students make wildlife observations and study nature. City Recreation staff continue to utilize these binoculars when they are teaching birding and nature programs.
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