Adopt-a-Park sign at Powhatan Creek Trail in James City County.
A major part of the Observatory's mission is environmental education. Seasonal research staff, an Environmental Educator and volunteers provide on-site presentations about our programs and about migration in the Chesapeake Bay area of coastal Virginia. Particularly at Kiptopeke State Park during fall migration, we host birders, schools, universities and other visitors at no cost to them. Field trips and workshops are also conducted. The Observatory has also participated, for more that 20 years, in the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival.
Life-sized models of hawks, with photographs taken at Kiptopeke, are used to explain differences in the species. Printed materials are also distributed, including brochures and checklists. Newsletters and an Annual Field Research Report are available to members.
Our website contains information about birds and butterflies that can also be used by teachers for their programming. There is a Blog for current updates and information about unusual birds and butterflies. There is a special story about a Prothonotary Warbler named Chelsea.There is information about our Team Birding Competition, The Kiptopeke Challenge. There is weather information, a video about migration and a link to VA eBird, where bird records are submitted and where articles are posted of interest to Virginia and across the country and more.
Grant funding for educational materials has also come from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee, from the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates.
Funding also comes from the Observatory's Bill Akers Environmental Education Fund.
Visit CVWO's Blog: https://vawildliferesearch.org/cvwo-blog
and the Events Calendar: https://vawildliferesearch.org/news-room
for more information about these programs.
By Lisa Reagan, Public Relations
Board of Directors
From the 2021 Annual Report
For over a quarter century, the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory has had a long-standing commitment to wildlife preservation, extensive networking skills and project collaborations with local, state, and national partners, and to its ongoing strategic initiatives integrating public education and conservation impact. As the second year of the pandemic in 2021 sent the public in record-breaking numbers to local and state parks, CVWO was ready to answer their questions about raptor, butterfly, songbird, and waterbird research through our live interactions on the Hawkwatch platform at Kiptopeke State Park and at the spring College Creek Hawkwatch near Williamsburg, and by meeting the public where they were: on their phones through our digital platforms and growing newsletter subscriptions.
How critical is CVWO’s ongoing conservation and field work? Extensive scientific studies show that the data collection, field observations, and commitment of citizen scientists are providing the needed and extensive data to make critical science-based policy decisions as humanity is facing the ongoing climate crisis, mass species extinction, and ever-increasing habitat loss. A feature in a 2018 issue of Nature magazine, entitled “How Citizen Science is Transforming Research,” states, “The movement is surfing wider societal forces, including a thirst for data; the rise of connectedness and low-cost sensor technologies; and a push to improve the transparency and accessibility of science.”
When we use our meta-cognition abilities as homo sapiens and view our planet’s “Big Picture” right now, it is easy to see the immense value CVWO’s work brings to “Protecting Wildlife through Field Research, Education and Habitat Conservation for 25 Years” as our mission states.
We hope you will join us however you can – in the field, on your devices, and through generous financial support – as we restore our connection to nature and stewardship to life.
As part of our education and outreach efforts, we strive to work closely with our partners to support their efforts too. In 2021 CVWO helped pay for amphitheater benches installed by the Friends of Kiptopeke State Park at the Park’s visitor center.
At the Edward S. Brinkley Nature Preserve in Northampton County, CVWO installed a bench in memory of our great friend and advisor, Ned Brinkley, plus collaborated with the Eastern Shore Chapter of the VA Master Naturalists (and other partners) to create an interpretive sign for the Preserve.
You can keep up with CVWO’s initiatives, collaborations, and field observations. Enjoy and SHARE our stories:
Newsletter. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter, which has doubled in followers in the past three years! You can subscribe here, or by visiting our homepage at www.vawildliferesearch.org.
Blog. Check in on CVWO’s Blog for the latest in field reports, unusual observations, and what our teams are working on. https://vawildliferesearch.org/cvwo-blog
Newsroom. Follow CVWO’s collaborations and nonprofit news in our newsroom here: https://vawildliferesearch.org/news-room
Social Media Platforms. Enjoy our posts from partners, headlines on conservation, and fun field posts on our social media platforms here:
CVWO Videos. Watch our own videos on raptor and monarch migration on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvURfXcPA1Rg_O-al0yTK_w
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