Yesterday afternoon I did my first farmers’ market in Tualatin. It’s a form of community outreach that the Tualatin River Refuge is trying to expand. Amazingly, a lot of people who live in the vicinity of the refuge don’t know it exists. Or maybe they’ve been there a few times, but they’ve never thought of becoming a member of Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, our volunteer support organization. I didn’t know that being the barker for TRNWR at farmers’ markets would be part of the job of volunteer naturalist. But I’m OK with it.
Above is Sharon, the farmers’ market organizer. She’s tending to the game we’ve got to get kids interested. Pictures of adult animals are arrayed on a board and we challenge children passing by (and sometimes adults) to match a baby in the stack in front with the adult. For bonus points they can then find the correct term for the baby. For example, a baby goose is a gosling.
While the kids are playing the game I talk-up the refuge and Friends of the Refuge to the parents. It works pretty well, and nobody goes away without winning a “pollinator” sticker.