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Students team with experts to reduce threat to urban birds

York Region District School Board students used what they learned to develop innovative ideas to help protect bird populations
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Birding
Supplied photo/York Region District School Board
NEWS RELEASE
YORK REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
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WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE - A group of students worked with a team of experts to develop innovative ideas to reduce threats to urban bird populations.

The event, held April 3 at Vivian Outdoor Resource Centre, gave students the opportunity to connect and problem solve with professionals from Bird Studies Canada, Cambium Aboriginal, Flap Canada, Toronto Ornithological Cluband Toronto Wildlife Centre. Students learned about local birdlife, Indigenous perspectives, the importance of birds and the threats to their survival.

The students participated in bird identification and learned about the threats posed to birds by collisions and cats. The students used what they learned to develop innovative ideas to help protect bird populations.

The students are all enrolled in the specialist high skills majors program, and came from Markville S.S., Milliken Mills H.S., and Stouffville D.S.S. This event is one of several the board is offering this year in collaboration with community organizations to support innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship training.

“This team of community organizations are leaders on educating and providing opportunities for people to begin to grow their connections to world around them. Today, students get to witness the important part birds play in the interconnectedness of all things and will leave here as ambassadors for birds in their home communities,” said Gina Marucci, outdoor education teacher, York Region District School Board.  

“The biggest hope for nature to thrive is on restoring our lost connection to it. Today, the participants changed their perspective and realized that wild is all around. They re-discovered that you only need to look at out the window to connect with the magnificent, exciting, colourful and feathered world. Our goal as an organization is to constantly create innovative opportunities for connecting people with birds in a way that will inspire them to conserve birds,” said Andrés Jiménez Monge, urban program coordinator, Bird Studies Canada.

“Events like this are so important. Youth are our future and they need to be involved in our conversations to help remedy the environmental disparities that we are faced with. It’s also critical that Indigenous perspectives and voices are part of this conversation, and I love that we were able to bring that here today,” said Kerry Ann Charles, lands and climate change coordinator, Cambium Aboriginal.

Specialist high skills major programs let students experience a range of customized, career-focused learning opportunities while working toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. YRDSB has 33 secondary schools offering over 100 separate programs that represent different sectors of the economy, including arts and culture, business, and health and wellness.

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about York Region District School Board, please visit the website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.

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