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Submitted By

JoAnn Ballard

Boonville, NY, United States


The STEAM Community Garden is sponsored by the Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center’s After School STEAM Students. The garden sits in a historical district and is across the street from our school that doesn’t have adequate space for a garden and is welcoming to everyone in the community. Our after school students started learning about birds 3 years ago and have built blue bird houses, feeders and watering units to attract local birds. Many students have participated in the GBYBC for several years and continue to enjoy bird watching year round. The past 2 years, we have had a pair of nesting Goshawks. Since students have learned about birds, their habitat and their nature, they keep a watchful eye on the Goshawks as they know that they can be dangerous. Last summer, we rescued a fledging Goshawk. Under guidance from the instructors, the young Goshawk was moved to a hedgerow that would provide protection, as it was found in the road in good condition. DEC was contacted and they followed up on the sighting. Everyone in the area was informed of the presence of the Goshawk. The birds have continued to return to our community.

Over the winter, we will be expanding the nature garden which will allow for our students to help create a seasonal habitat for them to study birds year round. Allowing seasonal studies, students can continue to be Citizen Scientists while they explore which birds stay in their area throughout the year. The addition of the winter study area will allow the students to feed the birds in a safe environment. Over the winter, they will continue to feed and supply water in the bird stations.

Last spring the students planted flowers to attract birds as well as discovering that the ground was host to many enticing treats for birds such as worms and bugs. Last winter’s left over seeds were quickly found to be growing in the gardens and were left to provide a natural feeding area year round. Flowers were not deadheaded to help provide winter food. Shrubs were added to provide protection.

You will see in our pictures that our students love to be Citizen Scientists!

STEAM Citizen Scientists

learning about birds and planning our garden

Recent Comments (1)

  • Erin Murtaugh says:

    I love that this is a growing project that students participate in year after year. It’s so nice that the garden the kids are working on is available for the whole community to enjoy.

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