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Bird School Project

Organization Mission

The Bird School Project aims to inspire and equip both students and teachers to love, study, and steward their local environment.

The Big Idea:
Creating Leaders for the Environment

In 2020, Bird School Project aims to unify youth leadership around a vision for lives that are relaxed, mentally resilient, and less distracted.

The Bird School Project provides outdoor education experiences about birds to students directly on their schoolyards, making nature and a bit of wilderness easily revisited. Students grow an appreciation for the unexpected and a love for nature.

Our main program is a perfect supplement to middle school life science classes. Four weeks of school visits include guided, on-campus bird walks; use of binoculars; close examination of museum specimens; and the use of a field journal in which students learn to record their observations creatively.

Students build skills in focus, direct observation, meaning-making, arguing from evidence, and collaborating with peers — and benefit further from the research-based, proven healing effects of time spent outdoors. Observations of real-time happenings in nature generate a sense of connection with other living organisms, and lower stress about school, peer groups, or family life among diverse youth.

We provide programming countywide, but focus in the Pajaro Valley on middle school students. Their school schedules allow for few opportunities for field trips, and programs like ours are needed to connect students with their environment.

Bird School Project will get students into birding, develop their observation skills, and increase their overall love of nature!


Colleen Hilker, middle school science teacher, Watsonville