From the Educators: Spring has flown by like a flurry of migrating warblers!

  Vera Court kids grow their science skills while searching for water critters.

Vera Court kids grow their science skills while searching for water critters.

The quiet steady pace of winter seems like a lifetime ago, but this spring has been filled with adventure. Thanks to your support, we have been able to reach 1,759 kids since January – and have built long-term relationships with over 100 of them! Because of you, these kids are spending more time exploring outside, asking questions, and making observations about nature!

Our energetic and talented education intern, Lauren Sinclair, helped the kids at Vera Court Neighborhood Center and Goodman Community Center to explore their local natural areas. They studied forests at Picnic Point, prairies and wetlands at Cherokee Marsh, and learned about urban habitat around their community centers. Part of each session was devoted to a formal lesson: dissecting owl pellets, using a microscope to get a closer look at prairie plants, or listening for birds on a nature walk. We even did some nature-inspired art! The kids learned just as much during the time they were allowed to simply explore and enjoy each place we visited.

  Helping improve habitat for people and wildlife also brings lots of pride!

Helping improve habitat for people and wildlife also brings lots of pride!

Our partnership with Lincoln Elementary grew by leaps and bounds this spring. We expanded our Climate Change programming from just one classroom to four! By teaching Climate Change using birds, we turned this complicated subject into a more relatable problem that the kids really care about. The lessons culminated in a school-wide Birdathon, where our kids taught the rest of their schoolmates how to play climate change games. All four of theseclassrooms received free field trips to local natural areas. We watched wildlife, and helped improve habitat by pulling garlic mustard!

For the first time, MAS partnered with local High School classrooms. An AP English class at LaFollette High School took a day to relax at the UW Arboretum and practice their reflective nature writing. An AP environmental Science class at East High School leaned about the path they would take to become a wildlife biologist. We practiced surveying for birds and mammals at Cherokee Marsh.

We also led field days at schools in two rural communities: Lone Rock Elementary and Ithaca Schools. During these day-long events, we worked with every student at both schools: teaching them about birds, and spreading our love of wildlife. We’re gearing up for an exciting summer working with Vera Court, Salvation Army and Operation Fresh Start. More updates to come soon!

This work was made possible by you! Thank you for helping connect kids with nature and for making a positive impact in their lives.