Have you seen the cover of the Columbia Audubon Society brochure? It’s available on the CAS website columbia-audubon.org. It’s the “…we also like birds” slogan that I want to draw to your attention. It sounds like birds are an afterthought, doesn’t it? How can that be? After all, we ARE Audubon in Columbia.
Although Columbia Audubon Society is, of course, about birds, and bird watching, it is much more than that. On October 9, 10, and 11, 1100 2nd grade students visited Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary for the Band With Nature field trip.
What an experience, what excitement, what a way to learn about nature, the out-ofdoors, and of course birds. Band With Nature was the culmination of months of planning by the 6 partners: Columbia Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri River Bird Observatory, Raptor Rehabilitation Project, Songbird Station, and CAS.
As the event progressed, I was amazed by the number of children who have NEVER been in woods; who seem frightened as the trees close in around them; who scream at the sight of harmless “bugs.” These children will become the adults who, in a few years, will need to take over from us to protect nature. It’s events like Band With Nature that in some cases begin the process of teaching children why they should care.
The weather was perfect for all three days of the field trip. Students walked through Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary as they moved, or should I say migrated, from one activity station to the next. Each of the four stations reinforced some aspect of the school’s nature science curriculum.
If you think I may be exaggerating the excitement or the impact of this event I encourage you to ask one of the following CAS member volunteers who helped make this event a success: Howard Hinkel, Janice Gaston, Becky Gerdes, Jim Gast, John Besser, Cathy….., Alice Reese, Denny Donnell, Jan Mees, Laurie Shawver, Cleo Kottwitz, Laura Hillman, Lori Hagglund, Pam Spencer, Joyce Hulett. Thank you all for your help!
-- Bill Mees, President