by Lottie Bushmann, Cochair of Education and Outreach Committee

The Education and Outreach Committee has had a busy fall. Lisa Schenker and Lottie Bushmann were able to meet with all 3 5th grade classrooms at Fairview Elementary School over 2 days at the end of September. Each class had a tutorial on binocular use and then an hourlong bird walk. The children did a great job.

Lisa and Lottie met with Anna Kleinsorge’s 5th grade class at Grant Elementary School in early October. Anna attended Hog Island this past summer as a CAS scholarship recipient. The children met us with their binoculars on and ready to bird Stewart Park. We had a lovely morning with highly engaged children.

Lottie volunteered to help host a bird walk with an event on Oct. 20th at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary that was sponsored by Missouri River Relief and First Chance for Children. Plush birds were stashed along the sidewalk in brush and trees ready for the children to find and learn about. It was a lovely morning spent talking to preschoolers and their parents about common yard birds and the calls they make.

Lisa and Lottie hosted a bird walk at the 3M Wetlands for the Columbia Home Schoolers association. With a total of 8 students and their parents we did a 2 hour bird walk together. The recent rains helped fill the pond. We enjoyed getting on different birds as well as noticing the beaver lodges and tunnels. It was a lovely morning with children in nature.

We are working to establish a relationship with the Missouri Young Birder’s Club. If you know of a child that is interested in joining other children on a bird hike you should check it out. Their website is and it is a great way for kids to connect with people and birds. We are helping to lead a walk on Saturday, Oct. 29th at 3M wetlands here in Columbia.

Our bird walks for beginners continue on the First Friday of every month, sponsored by Songbird Station. We meet at 8 am at the parking lot of Songbird Station and then carpool down to the Forum Nature Area parking lot. These walks have been well-received over the past year and will continue each month. We’ve had great participation with 24 folks joining Edge Wade on the October walk. We averaged 20 folks on each walk over this past year.

We will again be sending teachers to Hog Island Audubon camp in Maine this next summer. If you know an interested teacher, encourage him/her to apply. The application is available on our website.