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 Updates from the National Office of Flying WILD
April 7, 2010  
In This Issue
Flying WILD is Part of Bird City Wisconsin
Message from Senior Manager: The New Normal
New City Partners
Bird Feet
Bird Feet
Bird Feet

A newsletter of Flying WILD... a bird education program
  BEN logo with purple background
Visit the Flying WILD YouTube Channel
Fun Feathered Facts  
Presidents have not always had dogs or cats as pets. At least four U.S. Presidents have had pet Mockingbirds at the Whitehouse including  Thomas Jefferson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge.
Bird City WisconsinBird City Wisconsin
"Making our communities healthy for birds...and people" 
Steve Kupcho, experienced teacher, an avid birder, and the current coordinator for Flying WILD in Wisconsin through WSO (Wisconsin Society for Ornithology), recently announced an innovative initiative taking flight in Wisconsin. 

You've heard of Tree City. Now a powerful partnership of leading bird organizations in Wisconsin has established a similar effort to help birds. 

It's called Bird City Wisconsin, and communities are invited to apply for recognition honoring them for their work to protect birds and their habitat.
Flying WILD is sponsored in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) Education Committee. Both organizations are part of the Bird City Wisconsin coalition working in close coordination to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation statewide, emphasizing voluntary stewardship.

Bird City Wisconsin seeks to encourage communities to implement sound bird conservation practices by offering high visibility public recognition to those that succeed in doing so.  Andy Paulio is the key WBCI member getting this off the ground. Andy was also instrumental in including Flying WILD bird education as one of the criteria for becoming a recognized "Bird City." 

To be certified, communities have to meet at least seven criteria. They range from providing additional bird habitat in parks to conducting an education program to control free-roaming cats.

Flying WILD is the first criteria under public education. Participants are asked to  "demonstrate that schools in your community participate in Flying WILD, helping ensure that the nation's students are knowledgeable about the conservation needs of migratory and other birds." 

Part of the Bird City Wisconsin mission is to educate the public about bird conservation issues. The Flying WILD criteria allows educators the opportunity to take the lead in bird education on a statewide level to increase environmental literacy and stewardship in schools.  The Council for Environmental Education and the Flying WILD National Office are pleased and honored to be included in such an ambitious initiative to help Wisconsin educators achieve broader academic goals. Now, more new educators in Wisconsin are going to have access to Flying WILD's hands-on learning about birds! 

The program received $8,000 from Together Green, which is an alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota Motor Corp., and $5,000 from the Milwaukee Audubon Society. The Milwaukee Audubon Society will select the first five Bird City Wisconsin communities in 2011.Communities receiving the designation will get street signs showing they are members of Bird City Wisconsin. Wisconsin's effort is one of the first of its kind in the nation, and could be a model for states across the country to adopt.


Congratulations Steve and your Bird City Wisconsin partners for making such an innovative, bold move for bird conservation and education. To learn more about Bird City Wisconsin visit http://www.birdcitywisconsin.org/Index.htm.

Flisa StevensonMessage from the Senior Manager
The New Normal



At the Flying WILD City Partners meeting in San Antonio this February, City Partners explored new perspectives and opportunities to advance their Flying WILD program as our economic realities at every level of society shift to a new normal.  The "new normal" is a marketing and business term used to describe the new frugality in consumer behavior as a result of the downshift in the economy. 


Educators are our customers and, like consumers in other industries, they are seeking to do more with less.  Their attitudes are changing and they want more innovation in how their needs are met, more relevance to their personal and professional lives, and more value for their changing lifestyle.


To learn more about what the new normal means for Flying WILD City Partners looking to innovate, provide more relevance, and add value to your Flying WILD program, read the marketing tips section of this issue, training resources to share, and the "Bird City Wisconsin" feature article. The inspiring "Bird City Wisconsin" initiative is taking flight in Wisconsin and is a great example of innovation by a Flying WILD City Partner and their coalition of leading bird organizations in Wisconsin.


This newsletter is full of stories and creative ideas to help sustain Flying WILD in your city. We are looking forward to sharing this special year with you--our Flying WILD City Partners and your community.


And finally, we are pleased to welcome an impressive group of new Flying WILD City Partners to our network.  Now we are 33 strong and still growing.  Thank you for your dedicated leadership and passion for birds and Flying WILD.


Spring is here! Let's embrace the "new normal,"  think outside the box, and have great fun with Flying WILD!


City Partner Meeting In San Antonio


FW CP meeting 2010What a fantastic 2010 meeting in San Antonio! New and veteran City Partners learned, taught, shared, networked, exchanged ideas, generated new approaches and were inspired by the discussions and meeting events. 
Our focus this year was on how to build a better Flying WILD facilitator network and how to nurture that network. We explored localizing Flying WILD activities and connecting with local bird species in your community.  New approaches to communications and marketing the program to facilitators and educators were outlined.  We also discussed new ways to integrate service learning, community service, and citizen science activities into your Flying WILD program. Partnering with universities to reach pre-service educators and partnering with local businesses for fundraising opportunities was also highlighted. We even learned a new bird exercise activity from Mary Ann Weber, Houston Audubon Society, based on the Flying WILD "Avian Antics" activity, which you can now see on the Flying WILD YouTube channel.
Thank you to all the Flying WILD City Partners who attended the 2010 meeting. Your active participation and enthusiasm for the program is reflective of the whole Flying WILD City Partners' network. We missed all of you who could not attend. We know you really wanted to be there. Ideas and discussion notes generated from the meeting sessions will be distributed via the City Partner listserv and in a special password protected section of the Flying WILD website.
This new section will include a press kit to assist Flying WILD City Partners in promoting the program and communicating with local media, superintendents, facilitators and educators. In all, it was a productive good time with great company!
Welcome New City Partners!
The Flying WILD network continues to grow its flock with the addition of four new City Partners, bringing our network up to a grand total of 33 cities!
Cibolo Nature Center
Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, The Cibolo Nature Center is 100 acres of Hill Country trails and wilderness.  Open to the public since Earth Day 1990, the Cibolo Nature Center provides education, research, entertainment and outdoor activities for more than 100,000 visitors a year, while promoting sound stewardship of land, water and wildlife.

Thousands of volunteer hours have made the Cibolo Nature Center a prime example of community caring and an excellent model of a local community's efforts to preserve its natural heritage.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is dedicated to conservation of species in peril, scientific research, training of professionals, creative management of natural resources, and impactful public education. As a dedicated Conservation Center for Species Survival, Fossil Rim provides a diversity of compelling learning experiences which invoke positive change in the way people think, feel and act environmentally. Fossil Rim's public education initiatives include programs and workshops targeted toward non-formal, pre-service and in-service educators, and home school parents. www.fossilrim.org   


Jenkinson's Aquarium

Jenkinson's Aquarium is a privately owned facility located on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Opening in June of 1991, Jenkinson's Aquarium has proven to be a valuable educational and recreational resource, as evidenced by its growing popularity. The aquarium is dedicated to educating the public on all aspects of marine life and conservation. Each exhibit is designed to promote awareness of the animals, their habitats and conservation. www.jenkinsons.com

Newark Museum
The Newark Museum operates, as it has since its founding, in the public trust as a museum of service, and a leader in connecting objects and ideas to the needs and wishes of its constituencies.
The Newark Museum believes that their art and science collections have the power to educate, inspire and transform individuals of all ages, and the local, regional, national and international communities that thet serve.  In the words of founding Director John Cotton Dana, "A good museum attracts, entertains, arouses curiosity, leads to questioning-and thus promotes learning."

duck crossing signMarketing Tips and Tools

The "New Normal" in marketing requires
Innovation, Relevance, and Value-added. 
The business landscape as we knew it is gone and all of us have been affected at some level.  Environmental education, like other industries is in the painful process of reconciling an economy built on perceived value with its actual value. The landscape that emerges will be vastly different from anything we have experienced.  But for those who see opportunity through the haze, the future is rich with possibility if we can innovate, identify relevance, and add value to our programs. 
  •  Link Flying WILD to a personal benefit for educators if possible.
  • Speak to educators using their own words to describe Flying WILD.
  •  Understand that Flying WILD isn't just about bird education concerns.
  • Tell educators the story behind your Flying WILD program and why it is relevant.
  • Connect "value" with Flying WILD in the current economic downturn.

wingspanCelebrate Spring with the Birds!


Remember Earth Day is April 22 and International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is May 8th this year. Both are great opportunities to add a Flying WILD workshop to your program schedule.  


Spring Workshops

Include Flying WILD workshops and activities in your community's upcoming Earth Day and IMBD events and celebrations with a special workshop for community youth leaders and educators. Remember to send the Flying WILD National Office any additions to your workshop schedule. You don't have to go big -- remind facilitators and local educators to celebrate the birds with Flying WILD activities in their school, community youth programs, and classrooms.


Host an AM Coffee Break with the Birds

Start a new tradition in your community for Earth Day and IMBD. You and your facilitators may want to add free guided bird walks in the AM at your site, a local park, at your local wildlife refuge, or a local designated birding spot during spring migration. Partner with a bird friendly coffee vendor or your local coffee shop and provide free coffee for your Spring AM bird walks. It is a great way to promote your upcoming Flying WILD workshops and encourage local coffee vendors to partner with you to support environmental education.


Be sure to list the spring migrants you are likely to see. It is a great way to build interests in bird watching and show educators how easy it is to learn and teach their students to bird watch with little or no experience. Remember to invite families and the whole community to a coffee break with the birds.


EETAPFlying WILD & EETAP: Building and Strengthening the Flying WILD City Partner Network 
The Flying WILD program made its debut in summer of 2004 with the publication of Flying WILD: An Educator's Guide to Celebrating Birds. Shortly after that historic event, the Council for Environmental Education (CEE) began working with partnering organizations throughout North America to build a national distribution network for Flying WILD materials and training: the Flying WILD City Partner network. This effort was made possible in large part though CEE's and Flying WILD's participation in the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP). 

EETAP is a national leader in the delivery of environmental education training for education professionals and is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Education through a cooperative agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  The third phase of the EETAP program, which began in 2005, provides funding for a five-year period, ending in 2010. 

By participating in EETAP since 2005, Flying WILD has received support each year for providing continued professional development opportunities for Flying WILD City Partners, such as facilitator training for new City Partners. More recently, CEE applied funding to also host the annual Flying WILD City Partner meeting. This meeting is key to the continued development of the Flying WILD program and to meeting the need for ongoing professional development for Flying WILD City Partners. EETAP funding also enabled CEE to issue travel stipends for City Partners to attend the meeting and to provide mini start-up grants to new City Partner organizations. 

To date, most of the support for Flying WILD from EETAP was through funds earmarked for strengthening environmental education training networks. Over the past two years, Flying WILD also began participation in the EETAP activity known as "Correlations." The Correlations funds have allowed CEE to provide small competitive grants to Flying WILD City Partners to correlate Flying WILD activities to state education standards and, in one case, scouting standards. As the final product of a Correlations grant, City Partners produce a document or database that enables educators to quickly identify how they can meet education standards through use of Flying WILD activities.  With access to such resources, educators are then more likely to enroll in Flying WILD professional development workshops and more likely to use Flying WILD in their classrooms and nonformal settings. 

You can find more information about the many activities conducted by EETAP partners along with resources for environmental educators, course offerings, and EETAP evaluation reports at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=rhl4t6cab.0.0.cvohqmcab.0&ts=S0473&p=http%3A%2F%2Feetap.org%2F&id=preview.  

teachers pointingTraining Resources to Share

Birds and Birding

Like humans-and unlike most species-songbirds learn the vocalizations they make, primarily form their parents. Discover how scientists are applying the results of birdsong studies to how people learn to speak. Click on "birds" at www.nwf.org/nw.


Spring Citizen Science Project

Introduce educators and their students to global environmental monitoring.



Gardening for Birds

Help educators and students garden for birds.  This site provides a list of plants by region. http://www.birdzilla.com/gardening-for-birds.html


Make Your Own Bird Field Guide

Create as many books as you wish with as many birds in each.



If you have a favorite resource to share in the Flying WILD newsletter, send to flisascee@aol.com.  

New Flying WILD Listservs 
In an effort to create better service to our growing network of bird educators and Flying WILD City Partners, new listservs have been created. These listservs will be used to provide updates on Flying WILD developments, educator resources, activity ideas, funding, and much more.  

BirdEd listserv: 

This list is for all bird education professionals to share and communicate information and resources on bird education related topics in addition to receiving the BEN Buletin.


Flying WILD City Partner listserv: citypartner@lists.flyingwild.org

This list is for Flying WILD City Partners for the purpose of Flying WILD business and sharing of resources.


Flying WILD Educator listserv:  educator@lists.flyingwild.org

This list is for individuals that have participated in Flying WILD training so that they too can share Flying WILD activity ideas and resources.

Flying WILD City Partners are encouraged to have educators attending their workshops sign up for the birded listserv (birdedlist-join@lists.flyingwild.org)  and the educator listserv (educator-join@lists.flyingwild.org).

Coming Soon!

A new password protected "City Partner Corner" will be available shortly on the Flying WILD website.  This corner will provide City Partner private access to additional Flying Wild resources and support not available to the public.


A New Flying WILD Media Kit is now in development. Ideas generated at the Flying WILD City Partner meeting in San Antonio will fill this kit with useful marketing material to help you communicate your Flying WILD program to local media, school superintendents, community, parents, and educators.

GUW coverNew Resource for Bird Education with Young Children


The Council for Environmental Education has recently launched an early childhood initiative designed to help educators and caregivers engage young children, ages 3-7, in activities connected to nature.
Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and cognitive skills.

Growing Up WILD
features a host of activities that can aid bird educators featuring fun crafts, art projects, conservation activities, reading and math connections, and much more. Activities include "Bird Beak Buffet," where children learn about the special functions of bird beaks; "Terrific Turkeys," where children learn about wild turkeys; and "Owl Pellets," where children dissect an owl pellet and learn what owls eat. 

New Flying WILD City Partner Bonnie Ervin, Elementary Education Coordinator at Discovery Center at MurfreeSpring in Murfreesboro, TN has already added value to her Flying WILD program with the addition of Growing Up WILD.  Bonnie successfully conducted their first Growing Up WILD training in February for facilitators from the Murfreesboro, Nashville area.

To order Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children, visit
www.projectwild.org/order.htm, or to learn more about becoming a training parter call the Council for Environmental Education at 713-520-1936. 

                  Flying WILD - Celebrating Birds

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