We are teaching, teaching, teaching these days. Just in the past week we have taught about 300 people in private programs, from Cub Scouts to many 5th graders to adults. The buses come and go, the kids learn to use binoculars and before you know it, they are calling out ‘Sharpie!’ as the birds whirl by. This makes for some pretty busy, tiring and satisfying days. Our goal is to help people understand and appreciate what Hawk Ridge is all about, and the role birds play in the ecosystem.
I like to end my school programs with a quick series of review questions, and then some more pointed, thought provoking questions…
“What do you know now that you didn’t know 2 hours ago?” They come up with all kinds of tidbits for that one.
Then the kicker – “If you see a raptor tomorrow, and you saw one yesterday, would it mean anything more to you? Would you think differently about it?” The overwhelming response is that ‘Yes, it would.” Why?, I ask. ‘Because we learned about it. Because now we know more about them.” I encourage them to pay attention, to look for birds of all types and to remember how important they are in the ecosystem. I encourage them to visit with their families, and to keep learning about whatever interests them. Then, no matter how tired I am, or how much I know I have to do yet that day, I walk away with a smile and a sense that life is good in this moment. Because it is.
|Education Director, Gail Johnejack, teaching with Sharp-shinned Hawk
Photo courtesy of Thorsburg Photography (Lisa Ellen Johnson)