One of the principal programs of Otter Creek Audubon is providing financial support to help Addison County students learn more about the natural world.  Each November a request for proposals goes out to schools in the county and proposals are reviewed in January.  This past year, OCAS help fund eight different programs. Grants ranged from $135 to $1000.

 The Vergennes Elementary School third graders attended the Birds of Vermont Museum and Green Mountain Audubon Center. “This is a wonderful asset for us, and will allow us to explore learning outside the classroom in ways that would not be possible due to our necessary financial- belt tightening in recent years,” according to teacher Elaine Pentaleri

 Mt. Abe Middle School took a field trip to release salmon that they had raised in their classroom.  With great intensity the students assisted the young fish in acclimating to the water temperature of the White River then watched the salmon disappear, camouflaged against the gravel of the river bed.

 The Robinson School in Starksboro went to the Biodome in Montreal.  Their teacher Ruth Beecher noted, “The children were awestruck, finding hidden lynx, watching otters slide, laughing at chattering monkeys, wondering about capybara, wanting to be a penguin”.

 Mary Johnson Child Care Center received funding for environmental education field trips at state parks in the area. “We dedicate our programs to preparing children to move positively and fully into the world, and understanding and valuing their environment is a significant part of that preparation.  Thank you for providing meaningful collaboration and financial assistance,” said Anne Gleason, the Coordinator of school age care programs.

 Ripton Elementary students attended a paddling ecology program sponsored by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. OCAS provided support for the Four Winds Environmental Education Program at Bristol Elementary. Weybridge Elementary took students to the ECHO Museum in Burlington. The Otter Valley Union High School received funding to purchase equipment for their Hawk Hill external campus.

 Your membership and financial support of OCAS and bird-a-thons helps make these programs possible.