Rising to a Challenge
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bird Conservancy’s Education team has been in an accelerated ‘innovation and adaptation’ mode. We recognized early that our environmental education programming in 2020 was going to be impacted. Spring, one of our busiest seasons, is normally filled with a variety of programs: field trips at the Environmental Learning Center, classroom visits, interactive booths at events, and so much more. Practically overnight, our extremely vibrant calendar became empty.
Even as things were shutting down, the team was already brainstorming how to bring high-quality environmental education to not only students—now being homeschooled—but also to wider audiences. Our educators thrive on helping others explore, ask questions, and find curiosity in nature through personal engagement, but could they give learners a quality “outdoor” experience, indoors? Could we still inspire others through a computer screen? Would our virtual programs be valued by others? The answer, it turns out, was a resounding “yes!”
“I’m a beginning birder and have been loving the webinars that have been offered over the past months. Thanks for all you do!”
Our Digital Nature
Luckily, Bird Conservancy educators enjoy a challenge and are used to quickly adapting to different situations. We researched the best online platforms, decided which programs would work well for online purposes, and discussed ways to radiate positivity, even amid a public health crisis.
Creative thinking paid off. We offered weekly webinars about birds, and assisted teachers by leading virtual programs. Using Zoom and Facebook Live, we have reached many thousands of people, presenting on topics that range from Birding 101, to grassland conservation, to Black Swifts, and much more. We even managed to broadcast from our bird banding stations! A benefit to programs being offered virtually was that we could engage with people from around the world. Meanwhile, in-person family programs were carefully reinstated in late summer with an eye toward meeting health and safety requirements and minimizing risk. Our program offerings, whether virtual or limited in-person, was hailed by many as a blessing during a very difficult time.
“Your organization’s bird banding efforts have always impressed me, but until attending a virtual program recently I hadn’t realized all that Bird Conservancy does.”
Bird Camps Return!
2021 Summer Bird Camps are transforming to meet with challenges posed by COVID-19.
Here at Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, attending online trainings and virtual conferences with leaders in our field, and learning all that we can to plan and deliver safe camp programs during COVID. We have already learned a tremendous amount from the in-person programs we ran successfully last summer. With all of this knowledge, and guidance from our local health offices, we are ready to operate our 2021 summer camps—albeit with slight changes to our procedures. Our priority is the health and safety of our campers and staff, and our policies and procedures will be continuously evolving and improving as new best practices emerge.
Interested in learning more about our 2021 Bird Camps?
Visit our Bird Camps page or contact us if you have a specific question.
Bird Conservancy’s Education Team seeks to engage people in conserving birds and their habitats. Whether that’s though virtual programs or in-person, our mission remains the same. 2020 was different than past years, but we learned new skills and our reach has extended well beyond the Front Range of Colorado. The future of education is changing and we’re ready to take flight for whatever may come!
Bird Conservancy’s educational offerings depend on revenue generated from programs, whether in-person or virtually. Please consider making a contribution to Bird Conservancy of the Rockies so that we can continue to provide amazing experiences!
“Have really been enjoying the webinars! They are so informative and love having the info to be able to go back and review. Please keep them going!”