New program brings “diplomats” to education!
A new birds of prey program is in place at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport.
The Biophilia Center was recently awarded a two-year grant enabling the exciting new educational program; an extension of their 15-core educational curriculum.
“The first year of the grant includes bringing the birds to our center and training one or two of our staff members on how to work with the birds. The second year we would then incorporate the birds into our curriculum with the students” said Christina Scally, director of the Biophilia Center.
Lisa Miller of Wildlife Rehabilitators Partnership of Northwest Florida will be educating visitors to the Biophilia Center with her diplomats. The diplomats are birds that have been rehabilitated, but cannot be released back into the wild. The stars of the program are Oz (a barred owl), Medusa (a red tailed hawk), Phoenix (a red shouldered hawk), Casper (a Mississippi kite) and Wizard (a crow). Miller has been a wildlife educator for several years in addition to her wildlife rehabilitation efforts.
“This is an incredible opportunity, as we have learned that exposing students and the public with live animals has made the most impact,” Scally continued.
The Biophilia Center is working closely with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a permanent home for the birds. Construction of an aviary is slated to begin this fall. Local architect Anthony Vallée is designing the aviary.
The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center an environmental facility serving students, teachers and professional audiences. It is open on weekends to the public. Each weekend, the Center will focus on a different theme, featuring specialized programs such as birds of prey, remnants of a forest, and gopher tortoises.
From June 1 – August 31, the Center will be open: Fridays – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sundays – 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
During the shoulder season, Sept. 1 through May 31: Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission will be $5 for adults; $2 for children (ages 6-12) and free for children (5 and under)
To learn more about the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center, go to: www.eowilsoncenter.org