Inspiring Youth To The Outdoors
Hello there again to the public and anyone else that may follow Environment for the Americas (EFTA). It’s your EFTA intern, Ricky Martinez serving the people and the environment here in the San Luis Valley, or Alamosa Colorado to be specific. I am working on Bureau of Land Management Lands, the gorgeous Blanca Wetlands to be specific. I am an avid lover of the outdoors and wildlife. I love to spend any free time I can get being outdoors and I could say that I am blessed that a lot of the work I do is outdoors. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is “When you learn teach, When you get give”. I would say that over my past 7 years in getting a BS of Biology and researching birds and participating in outdoor programs like SCA Massachusetts and interning with the Bureau of Land Management, I have obtained a great sum of knowledge about the natural world. Well what good is knowledge if its only locked in your head? You must learn to share and teach knowledge and wisdom to others. And there is no group as important that we must bring up right and teach right than our youth; for our youth are the individuals that have to protect the future, and by teaching them right and bringing them up right, we can hope for a better future. The world is in a state of urgency with many issues such as water scarcity, pollution, climate change etc.. So now is the time to start talking about these concepts with our kids.
Being an EFTA intern and working with the Bureau of Land Management allows me to create partnerships with many schools and summer programs. This is very rewarding and another huge benefit is I have the ability to get the kids out of their classrooms and on field trips. I take them to the BLM lands such as the Blanca Wetlands, Penitente Canyon and the Rio Grande Recreation Area. Our curriculum is based on science and very hands on with a strong emphasis on leave no trace principals.
Example of our Curriculum Includes
- Wetland Habitat ( Upland & Wetland Plant Comparison) And Animal Comparison (Ex. Shape, Size, Etc.).
- Nature Hike, Who Lives In The Wetlands? (Show Diff. Animals, Macro Invertebrates Photos).
- Make Bird Feeders (Out Of Recyclable/Natural Objects Pine Cones, Plastic, Etc.).
- What’s My Name Game.
- Bird Beak Experiment (Ex. Why Birds Eat What They Eat And How).
- Build A Nest, Build A Paper Plate Bird, Birdomino.
- Migration Game, Musical Nests, Bird ID Game, Jep-birdy Game.
- Wildlife Resource & Population Game.
Leave No Trace Principles Includes
- Plan and prepare ahead.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect Wildlife.
- Be considerate of others.
By combining the science and leave no trace, we give kids the knowledge of how to have fun with the outdoors and at the same time respect the outdoors. If you get the opportunity to volunteer or work with kids and inspire them to love the outdoors, I highly recommend it. There is truly no greater reward than to see those smiles and see them actually take in what your are teaching them. Until next time, Ricky Martinez is out. Bye!