The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and Prendergast Library are pleased to announce their collaborative summer initiatives, focused on the library’s Summer Reading Program and RTPI’s Project Wild America. Using the library system’s 2017 theme “Build a Better World”, both organizations will jointly host nature-themed events for library patrons of all ages, as well as offer opportunities to learn about and engage with some of the unusual wildlife that inhabits Jamestown’s backyards and open spaces.
From June 27 through August 15, RTPI staff and summer student interns will host a weekly story hour during which visitors learn about a particular aspect of local ecology and read a children’s book on a related topic, while library staff and volunteers will provide associated activities (coloring sheets, etc.). What’s more, RTPI’s Project Wild America’s Youth Ambassadors – a cohort of local high school and college students hired to work alongside RTPI conservation staff, during the summer, to help study and spread the word about Jamestown’s urban ecosystem – will be using the Prendergast Library as their operations base from July 5th through August 1st. During this time, students are available to share their research findings with the public, and provide outreach and education to library patrons. In addition, Project Wild America students are available to offer presentations, guided nature walks, and chances to observe RTPI’s active conservation research projects first hand. When not engaged in fieldwork elsewhere in Jamestown, students and RTPI conservation staff will be available at the library regularly to share their experiences with the city’s wild side and provide opportunities for citizen scientists to become involved in wildlife monitoring projects.
This exciting partnership between the Prendergast Library and RTPI will facilitate communication, learning, and social networking within our community, as well as fostering appreciation and pride in the unique urban wildlife and natural resources that once inspired young Roger Tory Peterson to become one of the great naturalists of the 20th century. More importantly, these same resources are critical to the health of our city and community – the better we understand them, the more we can improve our quality of life and build a better world!