Community Conservation and Science

Today's article is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology about a Buddhist Monk who has inspired children and simple sheep herders in Tibet and across his land to become citizen scientists.  It is pretty inspiring.  

A Conservationist In Monk’s Robes: Gen Tashi Sangpo, The Bird Lama

He says in the article, "If you don’t know the place, the environment, then you don’t have love for it, and if you don’t love, you won’t protect,”  I completely agree. This is my number one motivating factor in all the work I do with children and adults.  I believe the more of relationship we have to the earth around us - what's happening in our yards and neighborhoods - the better earthly stewards we become.  Stewardship begins with Connection.

When we are thinking about where the water upstream is coming from and how that water is affecting our lives we are more likely to work to clean it up and try to work with the folks upstream to do the same.  It is easier to understand other's actions when we understand our own first.  Then, we can work together because empathy can be present in the conversation.  If we want to slow down the impact of what's happening here on the earth we absolutely have to pay better attention to what is happening in our own backyards.  We also have to pay attention to how we are in our everyday lives and the choices we make by being more conscious consumers.  The deeper our connection to our place the easier our behavior is to change. 

This Sunday, March 26 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, there is a way to be a part of something really exciting going on in the Athens Community.  There is a Forest and Creek Restoration Project happening at one of our local parks, Trail Creek - and this project is completely supported by our local parks and recreation services.  

Trail Creek is one of my favorite parks in town as it supports a very wide range of diversity which is so important as we work to better understand the human impact on the land and work towards equality among humans.  Trail Creek has soccer fields that typically have all ages and ethnicities of people playing soccer, throwing a ball, or playing Frisbee.  There are mountain biking and hiking trails in constant use well hidden just below the perimeter and far enough to feel the solitude of the natural world.  There is a splash pad and playground where kids run around and experience unstructured play.  There are birds and more birds.  There is a sweet creek with its own personality to sit by and watch flow.. Trail Creek pretty much has it all.  

On Sunday there is a small group of citizens working with the county to catalog what natives are already growing along Trail Creek.  They'll have field guides and naturalists out there identifying what's already there so they can better plan what to plant as they continue to work on restoring the native species.  Best of all?  You can go be citizen scientists for a short time on Sunday, contribute to this awesome project, and learn a lot about the native flora that lives in your backyard. (I won't be there because I will be teaching a bird class, but I know the folks who will be there and I can promise you're going to learn something and feel a part of something bigger.)

Here are the details of this event:

Trail Creek Restoration Project

Now, go be citizen scientists even if you don't live in Athens, Georgia go find something to get involved in happening in your backyard and community.