Go Wild At Your Library
Angela Hanshaw | September 14, 2010
I know two things about the wildlife in my neighborhood: my dog loves to chase it, and, given the chance, it will destroy much of my container garden. I suspect there’s more to animals in the city, however. Here are some programs I discovered on urban wildlife from libraries across the country:
Allen (Tex.) Public Library
Hear Jessica Alderson, urban wildlife biologist, talk about wildlife as urban environments encroach on their homes. Learn what you can do to protect your home, children, and pets as well as urban wildlife in this seminar.
Blount County Public Library, Maryville, Tenn.
Kara Remington, an education naturalist at Ijams Nature Center, will present a program titled “Living With Urban Wildlife.” “As our neighborhoods spread outward, we do become closer neighbors with the opossums, coyotes, raccoons, groundhogs, and even beavers and otters,” Remington said. She will provide information on these familiar and unfamiliar critters and how we can live in harmony.
Edgebrook Public Library, Chicago
Landscape architect and eco-designer Michael Repkin of Michael Repkin Designs offers gardening tips for either attracting or deterring urban wildlife. Also, learn how to aid injured or orphaned animals from rehabilitator Dan Compton of Kane Area Rehabilitation and Education (K.A.R.E.). Includes refreshments and giveaways.
Multnomah County (Ore.) Library
The Portland metropolitan area is home to an incredible array of wildlife that both enriches our lives and contributes to the health of our environment. Karen Munday, an Urban Wildlife Specialist at Audubon Society of Portland, will lead a discussion about living with urban wildlife, the new Backyard Habitat Certification Program, and how to sign up to have your yard certified.
Chinatown Storefront Library, Boston
Urban wildlife with naturalists from Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. Creepy Creatures on Halloween! Does it crawl? Does it slither? Does it fly? Join the Teacher Naturalist from the Boston Nature Center to investigate insects and other small creatures found right here in Boston. Children will take part in hands-on activities while discovering how these animals are more interesting then creepy.
Somerville (Mass.) Public Library
Have you seen wild animals in Somerville, such as hawks, falcons, wild turkeys, songbirds, skunks, possums, raccoons and rabbits? Do your children ever wonder what these animals do or how they go about their lives in a busy urban setting? If so, bring them to the Somerville Public Library for a series of workshops where they will learn about Somerville’s wild life and write an original musical about them. Liza Kitchell will host a program for children ages eight to twelve called “Wild Tails.” During the program’s three sessions, children will learn about urban wildlife, create a story and write songs about the wild animals that live in Somerville, and present their work as a musical play in the Growing Center’s garden.
Finally, for those of you who would like some help developing an urban wildlife program for children, the Greenbelt Alliance offers an urban wildlife safari (PDF) you can use and adapt. The PDF includes background, preparation, and procedure information; wrap-up questions for the kids; an urban wildlife memory game; and a list of things children can do for wildlife.
Have you offered programming on wildlife, whether it’s urban, suburban, or rural? Share your stories in the comments below.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.