For 2013 we have decided to make a concerted effort to promote the accomplishments and importance of young birders.
The Future of Conservation
The future of conservation belongs to young birders. We need to do all we can for them now so they have a strong foundation for college, careers, and long-term conservation.
Within the Birdfreak team there are already three active young birders, so our interest and involvement falls close to home. We want to make sure that they and their peers continue to enjoy birding and the outdoors as they grow into adulthood.
Less young birder involvement now will mean less conservation into the future.
Young Birders Clubs
The main resources for young birders are their families and clubs geared towards them.
According to the Ohio Young Birders Club, there are 17 states with official young birder clubs. This is an excellent start but means that much of the nation’s young birders are missing out. Even within states that have clubs, there are still many young naturalists not involved.
One of our main goals for 2013 is to get in contact with all 50 states and to see where they are at in terms of young birder clubs. We hope to at least get the ball rolling on some of these states and, if at all possible, form a new club within the year.
The Birdfreak team is split into two states, Illinois and Ohio, both of which have young birder clubs. We are lucky to have these clubs to be a part of and to serve as models for new clubs.
So along with trying to get other state-based young birder clubs started, we will be promoting activities and events from both of our states, and possibly Indiana as well.
Sparking Outdoor Interest
Lastly, we want to discuss many of the ways young naturalists can become interested in the outdoors and conservation. We hope to include a multitude of activities and also provide educational tools to assist parents in helping their children.
Family participation is key to forming the foundation of future conservationists.
Our Three Prong Approach
1. Analyze Each State’s Involvement With Young Birders
2. Promote Our Local State Young Birder Clubs
3. Discuss Ways to Get Youth Involved in Outdoor Activities