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Nature Lovers Needed To Introduce Kids To The Birds In Their Neighborhoods

By Justin Breen | January 19, 2017 6:00am | Updated on January 24, 2017 11:29am
 Birds in my Neighborhood is entering its fifth year in 2017 and expanding to reach a total of 28 schools.
Birds In My Neighborhood
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DOWNTOWN — Volunteers are needed to introduce Chicago grade-school students to birds throughout the city.

The "Birds In My Neighborhood" program pairs volunteers with Chicago second- through fifth-graders, with the goal of showing the students the birds and other natural happenings in the neighborhoods near their schools. The program is a partnership between Openlands and Audubon Great Lakes.

"Volunteers make the program run, so we are always looking for new people that want to share a love of nature with kids," said John Cawood, Openlands' education coordinator. "You do not have to be an expert birder to volunteer."

RELATED: Exhaustive coverage of Chicago's birds, from bald eagles to pigeons

The program, in its fifth year, is expanding to 28 Chicago schools in 2017. Openlands, which was founded in 1963 to protect and provide public access to the city's natural areas, also has installed school gardens at 61 Chicago schools since 2006.

Volunteers in the Birds In My Neighborhood program must attend three training sessions, which begin Feb. 8. The sessions include a field trip tutorial at Magic Hedge at Montrose Point — the city's most diverse bird area with 329 documented bird species.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Cawood at 312-863-6276 or JCawood@openlands.org.

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