AmeriCorps members are no strangers to this ideal presented and advocated by one of America’s most influential activists in the civil rights movement who is still celebrated to this day. The Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative has participated in two full service days over the past month as an entire corps. In addition to this community oriented service work, OSEEC members affect the lives of under-served children around Rhode Island through educational programming at their respective sites.
Hurricane Sandy’s impact is still being felt strongly in many areas of southern Rhode Island, especially the region around Misquamicut State Beach. OSEEC recently worked with the Serve Rhode Island clean-up effort in Westerly to continue the disaster relief where it was needed most. All 16 members in our corps spent a Friday down at Misquamicut State Beach clearing the hurricane debris from the salt marsh buffer zone. It was rewarding to see our service directly affect this community that was so negatively impacted by Sandy.
Our most recent service day took place at the Newman refuge that is managed by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Conservation team. The OSEEC team spent a chilly November day clearing a field of Autumn olive and other invasive or unwanted plant species in order to restore it to a meadow state. This day of service demonstrated how efficiently a large group can work together to complete the task at hand.
Current and Upcoming Events!
Seal season has started in Newport! Save The Bay runs class group tours and public seal tours now through April. We offer one-hour tours on our educational vessel, Alletta-Morris, and provide expert guides and binoculars. Harbor seals and gray seals are the most commonly spotted species hauled out on the rocks or bottling in the bay. Find out more details at:
Audubon Society of Rhode Island hosted its Annual Christmas Tree Sale and Photos with Santa event on December 1st at the Environmental Education Center in Bristol. Over 300 families came out to have pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus by East Bay Newspapers, explore the exhibit hall, and partake in seasonal crafts and activities.
Roger Williams Park Zoo is gearing up for the 2013 year by accepting applications for the Zoo Crew! The Zoo Crew is Roger Williams Park Zoo’s teen volunteer program and it’s a very cool opportunity for kids in 8th-12th grade who want to educate the public about conservation and wildlife. Currently, there are more than 75 teen volunteers from Rhode Island and Massachusetts who are actively involved in the goings-on at the Zoo! It’s a wonderful opportunity to make friends, be active in the community, and make a positive change in the world.
If you work with teens through your AmeriCorps position, please let them know about this great opportunity! Zoo Crew members are required to attend five (5) training sessions in the spring and must participate in ten 5.5-hour shifts. Shifts are available May through October on weekends; throughout the summer, shifts are available during the week. If you have any questions, please contact ZooCrew@RWPZoo.org or call 401-785-3510 x 408. Applications are available at www.rwpzoo.org.
Norman Bird Sanctuary will be hosting Holly Days on Saturday, December 8th from 11am-3pm. There will be animal presentations, face painting, crafts, cookie decorating, and more! Check out our website for more info:
For the past 6 weeks, OSEEC members have all been involved in teaching weekly environmental education programs to children/teens through many different Rhode Island organizations. The following organizations have paired with OSEEC for these weekly after-school programs: The Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, Corkery House, Wanskuck Boys and Girls Club, South Providence Neighborhood Ministries, Martin Luther King Community Center, and Crossroads RI. Lessons vary between sites, but have included: animal adaptations, habitats, amphibians, reptiles, paper making, and recycling in addition to hands-on opportunities with various educational animals.