Last Saturday, May 17, was the annual Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Bird Festival. It’s put on by the Friends of the TRNWR, a nonprofit of which I’m a member, to make locals aware of the refuge and raise some funds to support the education activities there.
During the afternoon I did the Pond Life exhibit where we scoop little critters out of the ponds and put them on display so we can talk about things that live in the pond habitat. I like the program because both adults and kids are fascinated by the wiggly things in the ponds.
In the morning, however, I did something really challenging: arts and crafts. In the classroom in the Overlook building volunteers set up stations with really simple crafts for the families with really young-ones: like decorating stones already painted red, green, or yellow to look like lady bugs, bees, or frogs or using big rubber stamps and ink to make fish patterns on yellow neckechiefs.
My assignment was helping families make trees out of brown paper bags and owls from toilet paper tubes. Most craft work was parents helping their kids, but if there was one parent and two or more kids that needed help I’d jump in. So I twisted some bags into trees and spent time on the precision process of gluing feathers and googly eyes on tubes. It took focus amid lots of distraction. When mid-day came I was ready for a relatively serene afternoon to pointing out newt larvae and tadpoles.