10/25/2012 Today we were out exploring nature, specifically focusing on the pond ecosystems. Our botanical garden contains a small lake that is home to many plants and animals, including fish, snapping turtles, ducks, and lots of macroinvertebrates! Even though it is starting to be consistently chilly weather, there are still a lot of green plants and a lot of life in the forest and at the pond! The vivid colors of the trees add to the breathtaking nature of [...]
10/18/2012 Fall is upon us and things are changing rapidly in the forest! We spent the day looking for interesting fall changes in the botanical gardens and learning about reptiles and amphibians. We went searching for salamanders in a stream in the botanical gardens. Chilly weather can make it more difficult to find amphibians, but we were successful finding a variety of salamanders including Black-bellied Salamanders, Ocoee Salamanders, and Two-lined Salamanders. Salamanders tend to be very photographic so we practiced [...]
The inaugural Backyard Naturalists class came to a close on May 16, 2012. The 8-week pilot program, which was held at Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina was a great success. It was a learning experience for everyone who was involved and thanks to a wonderful group of children and hardworking staff we are now able to refine our curriculum and approach in order to improve upon our offering for the next group of students later this year. We [...]
Wildscreen has launched this creative communications competition to raise awareness amongst young people in particular about the animals and plants affected by climate change. Entrants are asked to choose a climate change mascot, whether it be the polar bear, koala or emperor penguin, and let their creativity run wild! They can paint, draw, sing, knit or even rap, embracing their creativity to come up with an innovative and exciting way of engaging others with climate change, with the very best [...]
The mission of Backyard Naturalists is to inspire a lifelong appreciation of the natural world in children through educational programming that integrates science, art, and technology. The program will draw from the considerable educational resources of the Highlands Nature Center, where staff has provided hands-on science-learning opportunities to help educate the community and promote conservation for over 60 years. Backyard Naturalists has been developed in partnership with Meet Your Neighbours, an international photography project designed to help connect people with [...]
Things are coming together in preparation for our first 8-week pilot program in Highlands, North Carolina on March 19th. Our new brochure is scheduled to arrive from the printer today!
It is a happy day at the Highlands Biological Foundation. The cameras that the children will be using for the first 8-week Backyard Naturalist program have now arrived. Aren’t they beautiful?
We’re pleased to announce that our pilot program will kick-off March 19 in Highlands, North Carolina as an eight-week after-school program for 24 local middle school children. The curriculum will introduce children to a new way of looking at the natural world in their own backyard and expand their knowledge of local biodiversity. Each lesson will have four components: a short lecture on nature, an outdoor discovery component, journaling, and an art project. Topics are wide-ranging, from bird morphology to [...]
Most children draw and it isn’t until about 10-11 years of age that they show any concern in regards to whether or not they are creating ‘good or bad’ art. These are the golden years of creativity, when everything that they show an interest in –or soak in from their environment- is played out on the canvas, paper, driveway, window and wall. When my oldest son Adam was six, he became obsessed with penguins and began to draw, model and [...]