JAMESTOWN - The folks at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary believe that the best way to achieve their mission of connecting people to nature and promoting environmentally responsible behaviors is to get people outdoors.
Each year, hundreds of school children take field trips to Audubon. A recent grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will support this program.
"Thanks to the Community Founda-tion's Reg and Betty Lenna Fund, we can continue to provide this wonderful experience for our area's children," said Jamestown Audubon President Ruth Lundin.
Many field trips bring school children to the Audubon Center & Sanctuary for Discovery Walks in the Sanctuary. A recent grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will bring support to this program. Here, a trail guide explains how a red squirrel eats a pine cone.
Lundin said that while there is no charge for accompanying adults, who are expected to help, there is a fee for field trip students. She said these fees only cover about half the costs, so Audubon is most appreciative of the CRCF support. .
Audubon's basic field trip is called a Discovery Walk. In small groups, children, guided by Audubon naturalists or trained volunteers, explore fields, forests, and ponds for about an hour and a half. What they do or discover depends on the season and the weather. Many groups like to schedule extra time to take a self-guided tour through the Nature Center building or to have a picnic lunch.
Classes visit Audubon for a variety of reasons: as a fun outing, to tie specific field experiences into their science curriculum or to expose the children to free discovery as a jumping-off point for further study. Summer recreation programs, day camps, and other youth organizations are also welcome. Interested classrooms and groups are reminded to schedule spring trips soon.
Training for new and returning volunteer trail guides is scheduled for Thursday, April 10.
To learn more about Audubon field trips and how to schedule them, call 569-2345 or visit www.audubonprograms.com/fieldtrips.
Those who would like to train to be a volunteer trail guide can visit www.trailguidetraining.wordpress.com.
For more information about all Audubon programs, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.