Vernon 4th graders are Artful About Protecting Shorebirds
The artwork of Vernon School fourth graders will soon become signage for a bird conservation area at Sunken Meadow State Park. The students were winners in a local “Share the Shore with Birds” sign design contest sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center.
The contest was as a culminating activity to the Audubon Center’s “For the Birds” environmental education program. In a series of lessons throughout the school year, students gained a greater understanding of birds and their habitats, and a sense of stewardship to help protect their local environment.
The program began with a bird identification lesson, where students learned about different characteristics of birds. Next, they went on a school yard bird walk, which included a data collection component, and then participated in a bird beak lab, which focused on how birds adapt to survive in their habitats. In a migration lesson, students learned why and where birds migrate.
“In this lesson, students ‘transformed’ into Piping Plovers and learned about their perilous journey south,” said Julie Nelsen, Environmental Educator. “They also learned how stewardship projects can help preserve and protect these delicate and endangered birds.”
For the sign contest, students created bird drawings in their art classes under the guidance of art teacher Ms. Karen Crowley. First, they studied how to draw Northern Cardinals, then practiced drawing endangered shorebirds. This year, the Audubon Center asked students to make signs for Least Terns, Piping Plovers, and American Oystercatchers, which nest locally and are the focus of local conservation efforts. Students added slogans to their drawings, such as “Caution Nesting Area,” “Let Us Eat in Peace” and “No Trespassing.” The winning drawings will be made into durable plastic signs and placed near a nesting area at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Vernon School fourth graders display the certificates they received as winners in the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center’s “Share the Shore with Birds” art contest.
The designs of nine other students received the distinction of “Honorable Mention.”
Congratulations to winners: Katie Melling, Jocelyn Schadler, Yulu (Joanna) Dai, Sarah Castillo, Madison Sussi, Grace Samodulski, Leah McLanville, Gabriella Sherlock, Kyle Bosch, Katarina Dynda, Sophia Gerbosi, Talene Masticcuiuola, Madison Morley, Julia Milos and George Henry.
Congratulations, also, to honorable mentions: Julia Deangelis, Tess Egan, David Ortuno-Cabadiana, Dylan Nola, Isabel Valerie, Daniela Flores, Camille Torres, Lily Arenella, Hatti Willard, and Ali Khalran.