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WildLife Guards Working

Posted on Aug 22, 2015

It is hard to believe, but yesterday was the final day of the eight week season for our Bridgeport WildLife Guards! In case you missed previous blog entries and posts, RTPI teamed up with Audubon Connecticut and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut to run the 2015 WildLife Guards program, which trained, mentored, and employed ten local high schools students and two crew leaders who monitored nesting birds and engaged visitors, families, and friends about the City’s Pleasure Beach and its ecosystem. The WildLife Guards offered unique activities for children like making their own Piping Plover, coastal ecology walks and trail hikes, seine netting and plant identification. The program featured education, conservation and advocacy in action five days a week, reaching thousands of visitors over the summer and making a difference for rare or endangered plants and wildlife on Pleasure Beach while creating the next generation of environmentalists.

Here are some more photos from the last couple of weeks of the program…

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Educating first time visitors about the history of Pleasure Beach and why it is important for wildlife

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Playing our own design of Jenga featuring the food web and ecosystem

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A first time look through the binoculars

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It’s a load of fun watching the youngest visitors enjoying our education and outreach

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Spotting some birds and butterflies

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Every child wants to be a Piping Plover, right?!

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All the pieces of our Earth

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Another way to be a bird…

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…by trying out their feeding and foraging tactics with your own “bill”

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RTPI’s WildLife Guard Crew Leader Alivia Sheffield

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RTPI’s WildLife Guard Crew Leader Emily Allen

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It was a hot and sunny summer with plenty of beautiful beach weather for all the visitors

Our tremendous thanks to RTPI’s WildLife Guard Crew Leaders Alivia Sheffield and Emily Allen for leading the crew through the summer to a stupendously successful season. They were absolutely wonderful and we look forward to working with them going forward as they forge amazing careers in the environmental, conservation and education fields. A huge thank you goes out to all ten of our WildLife Guard members for their passionate efforts this summer. The assemblage of students we had truly fit together into one complete puzzle, allowing us to accomplish our mission and have a blast while getting all the work done. Audubon Connecticut Important Bird Area Program Coordinator Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe was phenomenal in running much of the program once again this year, and thanks to her we started off so well and finished as strongly as possible. The City of Bridgeport and all of our friends on the beach deserve a thanks as well. I really think we could not have found a better crew, and we are all already looking forward to hopefully starting it all over again next June!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator