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Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
On Saturday, January 9, 2016 at Point Reyes National Seashore, the 6th Annual CBC4Kids provided an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the NPS Centennial year and offered families, totaling over 120 children and parents, a chance to learn about birds. Every year for over a century, tens of thousands of volunteers take part in the National Audubon Society's Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action. This rigorous event often does not include young children, so in an effort to train future generations in this country-wide endeavor Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) in collaboration with the National Park Service and Sonoma Birding, brought local naturalists together with families to learn about some of the important basic elements of this grand old Audubon tradition.
The park offers a perfect outdoor classroom to host this event, which boasts some of the highest bird diversity and numbers of any National Park unit with sightings of nearly 490 species or approximately 54% of all North American species of birds. The event was held at the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, home to PRNSA's Summer Science and Nature Camps for youth.
In concert with the National Park Service's Centennial in 2016, the White House has called upon an inter-agency team to encourage all of the nation's children to visit and enjoy the outdoors and inspire a new generation of Americans to experience their country’s federal lands and waters.
The Every Kid in a Park initiative is aimed at providing an opportunity for every fourth grade student across the country (approximately 4 million) to experience federal lands and waters first hand throughout the 2015–2016 school year. Over the long term, the goal is to have an ongoing, yearly commitment to bring fourth graders to their public lands and waters so that all children will have the opportunity to build a connection by the time they are 12 years old. As public lands serve as natural tools for learning, these students will be exposed to and build ownership of their cultural and natural heritage.
The CBC4Kids was spearheaded in 2007 by Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie of Sonoma Birding, who have expanded this program into a North American event that includes events held in Canada. The CBC4Kids was first introduced to the National Park Service in 2011 right here at Point Reyes National Seashore. The event brings together all the elements to introduce the next generation of stewards to the importance of birds in the ecosystem, the tradition of annual bird counts and the fun of getting families outside to exercise and engage with the natural world. The event is supported by the National Park Service and PRNSA's missions, and supports national initiatives including Every Kid in a Park; Let's Move Outside; and Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area.