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Education

Winter Wildlife Field Day 2019

Despite the government shutdown that kept our USFWS friends off the job for a critical month, we still hope to hold our Fifth Annual Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley National Wildlife Refuge March 9 from 11-3. It’s just nine miles south of Corvallis.

Save the date, pass the word, and bring your friends and family to four hours of free, hands-on fun, exploring the natural world with the help of skilled volunteers. This year’s theme is Nature’s predators. Take a close look at critters from owls and carnivorous insects, to coyotes, bobcats and invasive bullfrogs! This inspiring outing is suitable for all ages. See live birds, walk the Homer Campbell Trail with expert

guides, touch real animal fur and bones, rebuild tiny skeletons as you dissect owl pellets, get creative, and much more. ASC volunteers and our partners with Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Chintimini Wildlife Center, and OSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, continued to prepare for the event through the shutdown and will soon be rejoined by our partners at Finley and other groups.

The planning team will meet again Feb. 7 to finalize program details and marketing. We will also consider whether to continue planning the event at Finley or consider an alternate site. IF a change of venue is warranted, we will make sure the information is broadly distributed, but our fingers are crossed.

Over 100 volunteers are needed to operate the twelve stations exploring wildlife, from setup to cleanup and 4 hours of programs in between. If you can join the volunteer team on March 9, please contact Teri Engbring at chateditors@gnail.com or refuge Visitor Services Manager Samantha Bartling at Samantha_bartling@fws.gov. And if you have questions about the event, call 541-757-7236.
Teri Engbring, ASC Education Team

Check out Winter Animals at Hesthavn

February 17 sees the return of our monthly family friendly program, with “Animals in Winter.” Explore the mystery of how local animals survive the coldest, wettest time of the year in the Hesthavn Nature Center. And feel free to walk our two acres of maintained trails on your own before or after. Dale Mitchell leads a team of six ASC volunteers who will offer a scavenger hunt, animal and habitat matching game, an art project where guests can create their own perfect winter habitat, and a special intro to critters that winter in our area. Bring your friends and family for a fun, interactive, afternoon in Nature.

The Hesthavn Museum Room will also be open for guests to check out the dozens of real, taxidermied birds in the ASC collection, from a snowy owl to falcons. As always, this free program will be from 1-3 pm at ASC’s Hesthavn Nature Center at 8590 NW Oak Creek Drive. If weather is good, some activities will be outside, but the Nature Center has plenty of room to stay warm and dry inside.

Directions: Take Harrison west from downtown Corvallis and after you cross 53rd, it becomes Oak Creek Drive. Pass Bald Hill farm and follow the signs for Nature Center. ASC Education volunteers have been very productive in the past year and met recently to review their accomplishments and plan for the coming months. Here’s a look at what they’ve done lately and hope to do in 2019 with support of Corvallis Audubon leaders, members and friends.Hesthavn will be on your left shortly before the end of Oak Creek Drive.

Hope to see you there. Programs are still in the planning stage for March and April. Information will be on the ASC website and in future CHAT issues

Summary of Our ASC Ed Team 9/17 to 8/18

Accomplishments - Events & Numbers served

  • Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley (800+ people in attendance)
  • Monthly Family Nature Program at Hesthaven (60)
  • Girl Scout Spring and Summer Day Camps (160 + 150 = 310)
  • Get Outdoors Day at Peavy Arboretum (350+ people in attendance)
  • OSU Child Development Center Science Night (100)
  • OSU Earth Day – wheel activity (200)
  • OSU EXTENSION-4H Science Day Program at Hoover School (150)
  • Sustainability Fair (150)
  • Insights Into Gardening (150)
  • Adult Daycare program outreach by Kris (35). Total of community members served by ASC Ed in the past year = 3,205

List of ASC Ed events and plans for 9/18 to 8/19 (lead volunteers listed when known)

  • Sept. 29, 10-2, Open House at Hesthaven (Valerie with Tricia, Kris, Sue & Nancy)
  • 2019 Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley (Teri coordinates with Sam at Finley with help from ALL, & graphics by Sue. Planning begins in September for March (date to be set)
  • Monthly Family Program at Hesthavn, third Sunday, October-May) (Mitchells and Beth)
  • Oct. 2018 Boy Scout Birding Badge with Albany Troop (Nancy and Bob Brown)
  • Develop Raptor ID Workshops (Kris & Teri)
  • Get Outdoors Day at Peavy Arboretum (Valerie)
  • Develop Nature program for seniors (road show & field trips) for Corvallis and Albany Senior Centers, Stoneybrook, and Grace Adult Day Ctr (Valerie, Tricia and Carla Olson)
  • Update and manage ASC Bird Specimen Collection – review, and arrange repair, or replacement as needed, plus set loan and use criteria (Laura, Nancy, Marcia and Mark)
  • Develop Art in Nature Program at Hesthavn (Kris & Valerie)
  • OSU Earth Day
  • Explore Corvallis School Science program with 4H extension service (Valerie & Nancy)
  • Sustainability Fair table at Sustainability Coalition annual event
  • Master Gardener program: Insights into Gardening in spring (Kate and Marcia)
  • Girl Scout events including Spring and Summer Day Camps
  • Closely coordinate with education and outreach programs with staff and Friends group at Finley (Kris & Teri) and with other natural resource agencies in area (Val & Teri)

If you want more information or would like to join the ASC Ed team, contact us at volunteerasc@gmail. com or check in with us at the monthly member meetings.

A Sad Passing

Our talented and dedicated ASC education team has lost a shining star and treasured friend, Valerie Mitchell, who died in California on Christmas Day of a sudden and unexpected stroke. We are all in shock. Valerie, a retired science teacher, has been a key volunteer, capably designing and warmly delivering dozens of education programs and activities over the last two years. Her patience, knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, generosity and reliability were just what we needed, and she leaves a huge hole in our hearts. She had also joined the Audubon Board in August and will be sorely missed there as well. We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our hearts go out to her beloved life partner, Dale, whose creativity and artistic talents blended so well with her curriculum expertise in enriching our program efforts. On a brighter note, please don’t forget to hold March 9 for the 2019 Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley NWR from 11-3. More info coming next month. Teri Engbring, Education Team

Winter Wildlife Field Day was HUGE

With the full cooperation of Mother Nature on a mild, dry winter day, guests poured into the Finley National Wildlife Refuge by the hundreds (over 800 actually) for our fourth annual exploration of Nature. We had 11 hands-on learning stations covering a wide range of information and activities, something for everyone.

We SO appreciate the 100 dedicated, skilled and enthusiastic volunteers who made it all happen. Some have put in hundreds of hours in planning and preparation over the last six months! I wish we had room to name each wonderful individual, but this is a full newsletter! All I can say is thanks to each of you and hope you feel sincerely appreciated for your help and contributions. What an impact you made!

Thanks also to our wonderful US Fish and Wildlife Service partners at Finley, especially hard-working, always smiling Visitor Services Manager Samantha Bartling and our supportive refuge complex Project Leader Damien Miller.

Big thanks to local groups who have partnered with us all four years: OSU Bird Nerds, Friends of Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Chintimini Wildlife Center, and Starker Forests, Inc. We have also enjoyed key vehicle parking help for our two biggest years from Albany Boy Scout Troop 365.

We also welcomed several new partner organizations at the event this year: Oregon State University Extenion Service, 4H, OSU Society of American Foresters, and the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District.

We also want to thank Corvallis businesses that donated supplies and materials for the day’s activities: Wild Birds Unlimited, Winco, Bi-Mart and Wilco.

We have already had a debriefing meeting with key volunteers and are open to all feedback that will help us do an even better job next year! We have several intrepid volunteers who have offered to help on the 2019 WWFD, but we’ll take a break first and start on that in September. Thanks to the ASC leadership and members for their unwaivering support of our big event.

Teri Engbring, ASC Education Team

 
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Audubon Society of Corvallis
PO Box 148
Corvallis, OR 97339
Email: Audubon.Corvallis@gmail.com