Birds of the ‘Burg: Guided Walks

youngbirdwatchersBirds of the ‘Burg Walks originated as a project of HMN partner organization Rockingham Bird Club:

In his 2006 book, Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv coined the term, “nature deficit disorder.” Those of us who have or work with young people recognized the syndrome instantly.  And it’s getting worse, as the number and kinds of electronic media multiply. Louv said, “The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.”

All good, makes sense, right?  Again from Louv: “We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.”  But how can we get them out there safely and often enough to make a change?

People from local organizations have teamed up to offer some family-friendly outdoor adventures in Harrisonburg.

Kathy Byers from the Rockingham Bird Club and Ralph Grove of the Sierra Club and others will offer “Birds of the ‘Burg,” guided walks at Hillandale Park on Saturday mornings March 7, April 4 and May 2 with the second Saturdays of each month reserved as rain dates. The walks will begin at shelter #12, 8:30-10:30 AM.

Bring binoculars and bird guides if you have them, and dress for the weather. We’ll look forward to sharing a favorite pastime with you. All youth under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For more information, call Kathy at 540-820-6517 or Ralph at 540-478-3677.

– Anne Nielsen, Rockingham Bird Club

Update May 2015: Birds of the ‘Burg walks have been extended over the summer and fall to include Saturday mornings June 6, August 1, September 5, October 3, and November 7.

Update March 2016: Birds of the ‘Burg walks are back for a second year. Come out to Hillandale Park on Saturday mornings April 2, May 7, June 4, August 6, September 3, and October 1 from 8:30-10:30 AM to find the birds living in and passing through our city parks.

Kathy Byers, along with representing the Rockingham Bird Club, is now also part of the Virginia Master Naturalist program.

Hillandale Park is at 801 Hillandale Ave., Harrisonburg. Google map is here.

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