Posts Tagged 'field day'

Thoughtful Thursday: The Lesson of the Osprey

From National Aquarium Visitor Programs Coordinator Marnie Greig

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in osprey banding at the Patuxent River Nature Center with the National Aquarium’s Youth Programs staff and some Aquarium on Wheels students. As a seasoned staff member, I was reluctant at first to take the one empty spot, but I was encouraged by my younger colleagues to go, and so I did.

Why did I hesitate? I had forgotten what a rare gift a “field day” can be, and that when you combine nature and a rowdy bunch of delightful teenagers, life can really be very sweet. I had forgotten that our Aquarium connections are just as unique in the field as they are inside our pyramidal walls.

Aquarium on Wheels is an after-school and summer program for Baltimore-area high school students that combines science, conservation, job training, and the theater arts to promote environmental stewardship. I can now see why it’s an award-winning program. As these teens came nose to beak with a magnificent bird, there was an instant connection to nature.

Holding a creature that exudes beauty, power, and grace is amazing; seeing the bond that ignites a smile on the faces of these kids is even better. What, I wonder, was the osprey telling them?

I could not help but think that soon these teens, like their osprey counterparts, will be leaving their nests and soaring to new heights.

I’m glad for their brief encounter with the osprey, and I hope that the National Aquarium’s legacy to them will be to always understand, protect, and respect their natural world. I want them to succeed; but I also want to offer them one wish… and that is to always keep at least one day a year for a field trip. That’s really a lesson for us all.

A day of cleanup

Last Saturday a dedicated group of community volunteers joined the Aquarium Conservation Team at Fort McHenry to clean up debris in honor of Earth Day. They worked until the dumpster was overflowing, removing 10,944 pieces of debris from the marsh! 

Each spring the marsh is transformed into a living classroom for hundreds of students from Baltimore City schools. The cleanup day came just in time to give the education areas a much-needed facelift before the Aquarium’s AquaPartners students arrived this week. New gravel was added to the walking areas, and the butterfly gardens were weeded and given new mulch!

Fort McHenry Field Days could not be successful without the volunteers who step up to spend a Saturday morning in the mud. A sincere thank you goes out to all of our volunteers. And judging from the pictures, it seems like everyone had an enjoyable day!  Click here to see for yourself!


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