Now available: Collection of postcards from elementary school students welcoming migratory birds back to Wisconsin
E-book from Natural Resources Foundation, Osa Conservation and Madison Audubon Society features writing and drawings from students around the state
More than 70 students from six schools throughout Wisconsin joined the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Madison Audubon Society and Osa Conservation in welcoming migratory birds back to the state from Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. As part of the Wings to Wisconsin campaign, the three organizations have published an e-book featuring notes of warm welcome from students in second through fourth grades.
“I chose to have my class participate in the Wings to Wisconsin postcard activity because I wanted to expose my students to the beauty of birds and to help them learn to live in ways that help birds and all wildlife,” said Cathie Zlevor, second grade teacher at Winkler Elementary School. “Many of my students expressed interest in helping birds by providing food and nesting materials for migrating birds. They were very excited to bring reports of birds they had seen in their neighborhoods during spring days.”
The connection between Costa Rica and Wisconsin may not be obvious at first, but many of Wisconsin’s Neotropical migrants pass through Costa Rica, and 55 of the state’s breeding bird species migrate specifically to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula for the winter. The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has provided more than $137,000 to the American Bird Conservancy and Friends of the Osa since 2009 to protect habitat on the Peninsula that serves as corridors between existing protected areas.
“We are so impressed by the students who participated in the postcard campaign,” said Lindsay Renick Mayer, communications director for the Natural Resources Foundation. “The colorful artwork and descriptions were adorable, and they demonstrated that the students had put some work into researching the birds, their natural history and why we should help conserve them.”
Local organizations such as the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and Madison Audubon Society that work to protect habitat in Wisconsin are, in reality, part of a larger global conservation network.
“Birds, especially our neotropical migrants, spark joy in people of all ages and help us to be aware of a global wildlife network that expands far beyond Wisconsin’s borders,” said Emily Meier, communications and outreach coordinator for Madison Audubon Society. “A small bird that is the focus of a colorful, playful postcard can turn into a deeper awareness of a precious valuable, shared resource.”
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Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin