Somewhere in California, a small miracle is taking place. It is projected that by year’s end, the California condor population will reach 200 birds in captivity and another 200thriving and reproducing in the wild.
This is big news when you consider how far they have come. Twenty five years ago, the last wild California condor was captured and added to the population of 26 captive individuals.
The California condor was once found throughout the southwestern United States. As with many endangered and extinct animals, these birds fell to human pressures including habitat changes and human predation. The last straw was the introduction of the pesticide DDT. This chemical caused the Condor eggshells to become so thin that they would break long before the chick could hatch. To a species that was already struggling to survive, the inability to add to future generations was a staggering blow.
Thanks to concerned scientists, naturalists and nature lovers, these birds have beenbrought back. It is a testament to what can be done to save a species when we work together.
But we can’t sit on our laurels. It is estimated that there are over 16,000 endangered plant and animal species worldwide and many more that are threatened.
This month in the Nature Exchange at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, you are invited to learn more about endangered and threatened species from Georgia and around the world. Learn about measures being taken to preserve Georgia’s population of Bog Turtles and the possible rediscovery of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Cheer on migrating songbirds as they pass through on Migratory Bird Day. Take a close look at rarely seen biofacts from our endangered species collection.
For more information about Endangered Species Month in the Nature Exchange, please visit our website chattnaturecenter.org/nature-exchange.html.
TEXAS ON TOUR Mobile Marketing Exhibit Visits The Atlanta Dogwood Festival In Atlanta During Cross-Country Expedition High-Tech, Interactive Exhibit Features Virtual Reality, Green Screen Technology and Interactive Games
WHEN: April 15 – 17, 2011
WHERE: Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Texas on Tour is open to the public during regular hours of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. For the fourth consecutive year, Texas Tourism is taking the state on the road with Texas on Tour. The 5,400-square-foot interactive experience will travel throughout the United States from April through August 2011, with nine stops coast to coast.
Texas on Tour is a high-tech, interactive, mobile marketing exhibit featuring virtual reality, a 30-foot dome enclosed theater, green screen video and photography, interactive games, live music and more. Texas on Tour transports each visitor to unique outdoor Texas experiences that are highly entertaining, educational and personalized – such as a virtual reality kayaking trip through Texas waterways – uniquely showcasing the Lone Star State. Visitors to the exhibit can “picture themselves in Texas” and stroll along a Texas beach through the use of green screen technology. Daily performances from Texas musicians and entertainers will also be featured.
We are thrilled to have Texas on Tour traveling to nine destinations across the U.S. in 2011 to encourage travel to Texas and give potential visitors the ability to experience firsthand the many sights and sounds of the Lone Star State,” said Julie Chase, Director of Tourism, Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism. “Texas on Tour complements our advertising campaign efforts, and is designed to generate an emotional response from participants as they experience the variety of attractions that Texas has to offer.
Go outside and play – the mantra of many mothers for years. If you had one of these mothers, you had more opportunities to get outside and run, ride and play. Backyards became jungles and open fields had endless possibilities.
These days the mantra has fallen to the wayside. Children now spend muchof their non-school hours working on growing amounts of homework, engaged in structured activities or in front of a computer screen. Children rarely have unstructured free time to play outside. The result is that children miss the opportunity to explore nature. To discover ontheir own the animals that live under rocks or the sweet smell of honeysuckle.Children are not given a chance to make a personal connection to nature. What are the ramifications of this? Richard Louv in his book No Child Left Inside describes how childhood obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and depression could be linked to the loss of unstructured outdoor play. Louv calls this Nature Deficit Disorder. Research has shown that exposure to nature can help relieve depression symptoms, refocus a child with AD/HD and encourage spontaneous active play which contributes to a healthy weight.
This Earth Day, commit to getting outside with your family.What can you do?
Here are some suggestions –
Schedule an hour each week (or each day) where everyone goes outside for some fun.
Go for walk, toss a Frisbee, pull weeds, write in your journal, just go outside.
Build houses out of sticks, rocks and leaves.
But the most important thing that any adult can do is to support and encourage achild’s interest in nature. Your support is the platform that a healthy relationshipwith nature is built upon.
For more fun outdoor activities, come out for Earth Day Kids Fest at theChattahoochee Nature Center, April 16. This event, sponsored by the CaptainPlanet Foundation, features planet friendly activities and lots of fun. For moreinformation, visit chattnaturecenter.org.
How my family is getting involved in Earth Day this year:
Here’s an event at Chattahoochee Nature Center that I plan on taking my 11 and 4 yr old to to celebrate Earth Day this year.
Earth Day Kids Fest with Captain Planet FoundationPresented by Macy’s
Apr 16th, 2011 (Saturday) 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
The whole family will enjoy many ways to connect to nature and learn fun new ways to help the planet.
Meet Captain Planet who will give you the power!
Visit interactive booths and exhibits from over 30 local groups and environmental organizations
Explore environmental themes such as clean water and air, wildlife and habitat protection, native plants, water conservation and recycling while finding ways of taking green steps to a new level in your home and business
Enjoy live musical entertainment with messages about our Mother Earth
See live animal presentations with CNC naturalists
Paddle a canoe on CNC’s Beaver Pond
For more information on this exciting event, contact Rebecca at 770-992-2055 ext. 236 email@example.com.
December 20th – Philly Pretzel Factory (Milton) – 2:00 pm
This event is always a big hit! Tour the Pretzel Factory, learn what ingredients go in pretzels, watch the dough being made and pretzels being baked – and the best part – dine on a pretzel of your very own! Maximum of 10 kids. ($10 per child)
December 21st – Scoops (Milton) – 4:00 pm
If you want your kids to think you’re the best parent on the planet, sign up NOW!!! Scoops is an old fashioned ice cream parlor with floor to ceiling candy, cakes and ice cream!! It is a sweet tooth’s dream come true!! We will be making ice cream sundaes and a candy treat to take home!!! ($15 per child)
December 28th – Chick Fil A (Cumming) – 10:00 am
Tour the Chick Fil A (behind the scenes too!) and learn how the restaurant is run. Includes a kids meal (nuggets, fries, drink)!! ($10 per child)
December 29th – Z’s Pizza (Alpharetta) – 4:30 pm
Another favorite event returns this month and your big kids can join us too for this afternoon event! Kids will be making their very own pizza, including a soft drink and a couple pizzas for the parents too!!! ALL organic ingredients and a whole lot of FUN! Come hungry…leave happy!! ($15 per child)
December 30th – Dutch Monkey Doughnuts (Cumming) – 10:00 am
Watch as Chef Martin makes & rolls the dough, learn how doughnuts are made, and decorate & eat your own special doughnut treat! Drink provided as well. ($15 per child)
January 3rd – Chamberlain’s Chocolate Factory (Norcross) – 4:00 pm
An event you don’t want to miss! KidVentures is returning to the chocolate factory and the kids will be making three yummy chocolate creations to bring home (a chocolate lollipop, chocolate-covered Oreo cookie, and chocolate pizza)! If you missed our previous visits to Chamberlain’s, be sure to sign up this time! ($15 per child)
We hope you’ll join us for some of these exciting “KidVentures” to help occupy your little ones while on break from school!