For the past couple months I have been spending a majority of my time planning our International Migratory Bird Day event, Walk in the Wild in Boulder, Colorado. Finally, after all the planning and preparation, the event happened on May 18th and was a huge success! Walk in the Wild was held at Walden Ponds which is one of Boulder’s most important wetland habitats and home to hundreds of species of local and migratory birds. This area used to be gravel pits but it is slowly transforming into a beautiful wetlands refuge for birds with our help.
Around the pond we had eight education stations set up hosted by local science and nature organizations. These organizations included City of Boulder Open Spaces, Nature’s Educators, University of Colorado Boulder Museum of Natural History, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Eco-Cycle, Leave No Trace, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Defenders of Wildlife. These stations had some great games and educational information for all ages. Participants learned about about birds, insects, recycling, animal habitats, how to fish, and went on guided bird walks. Nature’s educators even brought live raptors for participants to see and learn about!
To raise even more money for habitat restoration we held a raffle that included some great items. In the past few months I have been contacting many sponsors to try and get donations for this raffle. Luckily, many local organizations believed in our cause and wanted to help us restore Walden Ponds. We received prizes including Rockies baseball tickets, Patagonia rain jackets, free Crossfit and yoga memberships, tickets to local museums, gift cards, and more. In the end we managed to sell 160 raffle tickets, each one being $5 to add to our donations. In addition to product sponsors I also managed to get food and drinks donated for the event. I believe having these items made Walk in the Wild even more enjoyable for the participants.
I was worried about people showing up, but luckily the weather cooperated and there was about 150+ people that showed up throughout the event. Over the past couple weeks we have been doing a lot of outreach in the local communities attending events, tabling, handing out flyers to schools, and got an ad in the Boulder newspaper. It was great to see all the hard work finally pay off when people began arriving and everyone seemed like they had a great time. Boulder Open Space even brought a Spanish translator with them since we have been doing outreach to Latino communities in our area. While there was not too many Latino participants,she did say she spoke with three Latino families throughout the event. It was great to know there was a variety of people that attended the event.
Overall, I believe Walk in the Wild was a great success it was amazing seeing all the people that came out to learn about wildlife. We raised a lot of money for some much needed habitat restoration and taught people about the amazing birds located right in their community. I would love to plan another event such as this again!