Bluebird Chicks Hatching at the Alcovy Conservation Center

Spring is here at the Alcovy Conservation Center! Six of our twelve bluebird boxes are occupied with chicks or eggs. This is an amazing video shot of one of the chicks hatching this morning! Video by our intrepid Wildlife Technician Adam Schiavone.

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The (American) wisteria is in full bloom at the Alcovy Conservation Center!

The native American Wisteria is in bloom at the Alcovy Conservation Center. This is a wonderful alternative to the Chinese and Japanese invasives which, though beautiful, spread rapidly and can topple their host trees. With Wisteria frutescens you’ll get all the sweet-smelling flowers you’d expect from a wisteria, but none of the wild, uncontrollable growth; American wisteria tends to stay put. What’s more, it’s a host plant for five different butterflies—the clouded skipper, long-tailed skipper, silver-spotted skipper, Baltimore, and Horace’s duskywing!

For more information (including planting guidelines) check out the GWF’s info page in our Guide to Native Plants of Georgia for Wildlife!

Environmental Education Class Takes to the Field

The Georgia Wildlife Federation welcomed educators taking part in The Oxford Institute For Environmental Education last Thursday. The two-week class instructs science teachers to learn outdoor classroom techniques in a wide variety of outdoor environments.

“The goal is for them to take these lesson plans back to their schools and use them to design their own outdoor curriculum at their sites,” said Robert Phillips, Volunteers Manager for GWF.

The group conducted a wetlands investigation in the tupelo gum swamps at the Alcovy Conservation Center, taking samples and analyzing the plant life to determine the beginnings of a wetland.

GWF Wildlife Biologist in the Classroom

The Georgia Wildlife Federation was also pleased to welcome back Rashida Stanley as part of the Oxford group. Stanley was previously the Wildlife Biologist for GWF before pursuing her master’s degree in Education. She is now teaching environmental science at Rome High School.

In her time with the GWF, Stantley worked more on policy than education, focusing on Camo Coalition and other issues-oriented problems.

“What I learned at the Georgia Wildlife Federation was the experience of how science works in the field and in real life,” said Stanley. “Especially on the political plane.” The Georgia Wildlife Federation is proud to have people like Rashida carrying on the mission of conservation education in Georgia.

(Pictured Above L-R: Two students see what they can find in a wetland habitat.  Eloise Carter instructs students on plant identification in the Tupelo Gum Swamps at the Alcovy Conservation Center.  Rashida Stanley and a classmate identify trees in a wetland habitat. Photos: J. Tonge)