The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a non-for-profit organization that, as the name sounds, centers on maintaining and helping conservation efforts for birds. Their main purpose is maintaining habitat and the environments that allow for birds too not only survive but to thrive. They work mostly through contacting and direct action engaging people in groups in various areas that are affected bird habitats. As a non-for-profit agency, they accept donations. For their marketing and public relations goes, they produce magazines and hold forums. But if you are like me, you have never heard of this organization before.
While working for the public group, the lack of knowledge by the public has been the biggest hindrance to making progress. This has lead me to question, why is the public so unaware of conservation efforts like this. I mean sure, things like recycling has become so engrained in our society but why haven’t others? Beyond that, what have the successful, well-known efforts done that others haven’t?
I think the issue, at least for birds, is that people see their lives as superfluous, like they don’t really matter. I feel that people don’t really see the effects that birds have on the environment or their lives. It would just be very eerie to live in a world without birds. Although this isn’t going to be the case anytime soon, people don’t seem to think about birds and their well being. Many people, even after hearing about the effects that buildings have on bird deaths, don’t seem to care. I have tried to discuss LOI with my roommates, but mostly I get laughs. The just don’t seem to care about LOI. I think the way to convince people is to explain that all we are asking is to turn the lights off or down. Once I fully explained what we were asking, my roommates thought that it all made sense and questioned, as I had originally, why people wouldn’t turn off their lights. As far as the public group goes, I believe that we need more conversations like these to truly effect change. Now, how do we do that….
Another year has begun and my excitement has been on the rise ever since I learned more and more about this class and our set of goals. Over the summer I was fortunate enough to work most of the time outdoors. Watching nature is always beautiful and enjoyable and when I learned that I had the potential to make a difference locally and regionally I could not pass up the opportunity. I have always found birds fascinating creatures so when I heard that our Environmental Practicum class would be teaming up with Lights Out Indy program, it just made the class better. In addition I am quite curious to figure out the reasons and form solutions to why so many birds run in to various windows and why there seemed to be certain hot spots for these tragic events. Our mission of the semester is to promote the awareness of this issue and to prevent bird deaths while saving energy by reducing nighttime lighting especially in these hotspots. The excess and mostly indirect lighting attracts many birds to these urban areas. Plus some of the buildings are so tall that they are directly in these migratory path of the birds. It is now the job of my fellow classmates and I to think of possible solutions and spreading the awareness to the businesses of and buildings of Indianapolis. With everyone working together I am sure we can make a huge impression and greatly decrease these bird-deasth incidences. I am looking forward to the rest of the semester and the great difference we can make!
The summer is over and it is time to go back to class. I spent a lot of my summer outside with my job at the Friesner Herbarium because it involved nature walks and prairie expeditions. It gave me an opportunity to observe the outdoors differently than I normally do. Every part of nature is special (except for that pesky Garlic Mustard and Honeysuckle!), and I was excited to hear that the Environmental Practicum class would be focusing its efforts on the Lights Out Indy campaign, which is concerned with the birds in Indianapolis that are striking windows. It may seem that these birds have little to do with us, but it is obvious to me that while I find birds to be strange little animals, I would rather see a living one than a dead one. This class may also help me with my fear of touching birds as well, because I have always been freaked out by feathers and cautious at claws. In the big picture, Lights Out Indy is not only helping birds, it is also about conserving energy because lights play a large part in why birds may strike windows. Since it is our job this semester to market these ideas and work with companies in Indianapolis, I believe I am going to gain a lot of real-world skills from this class.
What also got me excited about the new school year is all the blogging I am going to be doing. In addition to the Environmental Practicum blog, I am participating in a weekly blog for my AN 204 class, Apes On Film. It will become more apparent as more of us post, but the blogosphere is growing and I am learning a lot already about what it means to be a good blogger.