Forest Preserves offer bird loan boxes to educators
Environmental educators from the Lake County Forest Preserves are offering a new initiative to area teachers in providing fresh, interactive science lessons for their classrooms. Educator loan boxes can be rented by classroom teachers and non-formal educators for up to two weeks. Each box comes complete with hands-on group learning activities, educational items and reference materials that support Illinois Learning Standards. Activities are geared toward K--5 classrooms.
Five different themed boxes will be available this year including birds, mammals, insects, plants/trees, and ecosystems. The birds-themed box is available now. "These trunks are a great resource for information directly related to local Lake County bird species," said Environmental Educator Eileen Davis. "We have included a variety of activities, artifacts and materials in the boxes."
The bird box contains the supplies needed to set up a bird feeding station, including a bird feeder with seed, binoculars for students and teacher, bird identification books, and a bird observation data sheet. Egg replicas, feathers, bird bones, bird skull replicas and migration posters showing Illinois birds are also included. "To assist the teacher, we've developed an educator manual that provides instructions for each activity, and additional resources on bird migration, how to create bird-friendly habitats, and how to prevent birds from striking windows," Davis said. There are also several hands-on activities included in the box.
Educator loan boxes can be reserved by calling 847-968-3321. They can be picked up at the general offices in Libertyville, and at the Ryerson Woods Welcome Center in Riverwoods. The cost is $20 for Lake County residents for a two-week rental and $40 for nonresidents.