This past weekend Marina celebrated Earth Day by having youth pick up trash and cover graffiti at Locke Paddon Park. Youth of all ages had the opportunity to choose an activity to do for a couple of hours and then return to the main event where many different booths were set up with different information to give away. Stephanie and I figure this would be a great opportunity to inform youth and adults about migratory birds and how you can help protect them. Locke Paddon Park has a nice large pond that has several bird species such as American coots, Canada Geese, mallards, gulls, and red winged blackbirds.
One of the main things that we enforced the most during this event was that it is not right to feed birds. This area in specific has lots of residents that come out and walk around to relax and exercise but occasionally you have people who come out and feed the birds bread, crackers, or chips. There was one instance during the event when a lady sat down on a bench near the pond and started feeding the birds. It wasn’t long before she had lots of gulls and mallards surround her that just wanted to get a piece of what she was throwing in the ground. I didn’t do anything about it but I did use it as an example to show the kids of what not to do in the wild.
We also had the opportunity to talk about migration and the different flyways in the Northern Hemisphere. We quizzed attendees on what they knew about birds and as a result of answering it correctly we gave away bookmarkers that mention different ways one can help birds. We also had bird masks for kids to color and express their creativity. We had a really good turnout and I was surprise to find out that almost every kid had some knowledge about birds, some more than others. One of the things that I did notice was that not too many Latinos or African Americans attended. Most of the attendees were White. I was expecting to see more Latinos since Marina has a large population of Spanish speaking individuals. Overall, it was really good to be with other agencies and organizations that strive to inform youth and adults about taking care of the planet and everything else that lives in it. We were glad to represent some local places such as Elkhorn Slough Reserve, California Coast National Monument, and other parks where people can go to explore and appreciate birds.