Friday, April 26, 2013

Bridgeport WildLife Guards Habitat Restoration Event at Beardsley Park

Below is a post from Audubon Connecticut's Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe:

Bridgeport WildLife Guards invite you to participate in May 4th Habitat Restoration Event at Beardsley Park, Bridgeport

In November of 2012, the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds in partnership with the Student Conservation Association and the City of Bridgeport launched the WildLife Guards Program as a means of increasing awareness about beach nesting birds found at the City’s Pleasure Beach, amongst the local community.  At the heart of the program are the WildLife Guards, a team of Bridgeport high school students, who will be out on the beaches this summer monitoring bird species, such as the state threatened Piping Plover and Least Tern, and encouraging a “share the shore”  philosophy among beachgoers. 

 Karizma, Imanie, Natalie, Jamiya, and Amani

The WildLife Guards receive green job training and employment through the program.   Audubon provides lessons in bird identification and monitoring, general ecology and the history of Pleasure Beach, while training by the Student Conservation Association focuses on job readiness, including lessons in website design, online communication, and resume writing. 

The Guards in turn develop and present bird themed activities to elementary school students participating in Bridgeport’s Lighthouse Afterschool Program on a monthly basis.  Approximately 120 students at 6 schools are learning about the birds of Pleasure Beach through games, crafts, and other activities.  Just recently the students created signs featuring drawings of Piping Plovers, Least Terns, and American Oystercatchers that ask people visiting the beach to give the birds space while they are nesting.  Their artwork is now on display at Pleasure Beach, Long Beach and other beaches across the state.

The WildLife Guards have also participated in monthly conservation projects, including the habitat restoration work at Beardsley Zoo & Park, Stratford/Milford Christmas Bird Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count, and the Rock-to-Rock Earth Day Bike Ride.

On May 4th, 2013, in celebration of Earth Day, WildLifeGuards are looking for volunteers to come out to Beardsley Zoo & Park located on 1875 Noble Avenue in Bridgeport, CT to help make the conservation pond an exceptional habitat for the wildlife. The conservation pond is located right across from the duck feeding area at Bunnells Pond and provides habitat for birds, turtles, and other wildlife.  If you would like to volunteer to help clear invasive plants, please RSVP at our Facebook event page (www.facebook.com/BridgeportWildlifeGuards) or e-mail jamiyawildlifeguards@gmail.com by May 3rd, 2013.  The event will start at 10:30AM and end at 2:30PM. Park at the tennis courts on the east side of Noble Ave, and walk down the hill to the conservation pond.  Wear work boots and long denim pants, and please bring a water bottle.  Other supplies will be provided.  The event will take place rain or shine; a light lunch is included.  There will be a free raffle prize drawing for all and T-shirts for the first 60 volunteers.  This event is sponsored by the Student Conservation Association, the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, the City of Bridgeport, and the Beardsley Zoo.  We hope you can join us!

The WildLife Guards Program is sponsored by Audubon’s Toyota TogetherGreen program.

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut. 

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