Don's Jersey Birding: Bergen County Audubon Helps Students Learn About the Flyway
Marie Longo, Education chairperson for Bergen County Audubon Society prepares to help students learn about the Atlantic flyway.
Photos courtesy of Don Torino
From Cape May to the Pinelands and from the Meadowlands to the Highlands, New Jersey is one of the best birding places in the nation. And to add, its right smack on the Route 80 of bird migration, the Atlantic Flyway; a course that makes the diversity of bird species that can be seen incredible and you have a birding nirvana for bird lovers everywhere. The Atlantic Flyway is a bird migration route that follows the Atlantic Coast of North America and the Appalachian Mountains. The flyway is a critical pathway for millions of migrating birds each year. But it is also something that is taken for granted, so helping young people understand and appreciate the importance of the Atlantic Flyway is the only way that future generation will recognize why we need to protect it and improve it.
Students from Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck gather at Teaneck Creek Conservancy to learn about the Atlantic Flyway.
“It is so important for children to get outside and connect with nature as early as possible so that they form a positive relationship with it,” said Marie Longo, Education Chairperson for Bergen County Audubon Society. “And teaching children about the flyway helps them understand that we are all part of a much bigger picture and how and what we do to the environment to which we live can affect future bird populations for years to come.”
Giving our children an understanding of the environment that they are a part of and depend on, will determine what kind of world we will live in.
Beth Goldberg from BCAS who also worked on the project told me, “Giving kids the opportunity to connect with the birds that use our flyway is so important. It allows them to experience sights and sounds that may be new to them. Hopefully it will inspire creativity, curiosity and respect for the natural world around them that will stay with them as they get older and will help them find the knowledge and courage that will help them protect it.”
Map of the Atlantic flyway.
Photo Credit: AOL
More plans to educate our young people on how the Atlantic Flyway is part of our neighborhood environment are in the works. Thomas Berry once said, “Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” Giving our children an understanding about the environment that they are part of and depend on will determine what kind of world we will live in. Everyone, no matter how experienced you are, or how much you know should make a commitment to introduce a young person to nature , it is all we really have.
To find out more about Bergen County Audubon Society’s education programs go to http://bergencountyaudubon.org/education-programs/
To read more about National Audubon Society’s Atlantic flyway program go to http://www.audubon.org/about-atlantic-flyways-program
Don Torino is the President of Bergen County Audubon Society.