Devers students to help endangered birds at Kiwanis Lake

Maddie Crocenzi
For The York Dispatch

Students from York City's Devers K-8 school will help the York Audubon Society count endangered birds and clean up around Kiwanis Lake  this Friday.

In this file photo, fifth-grade students from Devers K-8 school take part in an Audubon-sponsored event at Kiwanis Lake and Noonan Park, Friday, May 27, 2016. The students counted nesting wading birds, pulled invasive plants and did a stream study in Willis Run.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The field trip is part of the Audubon Society’s effort to involve students in habitat creation and restoration projects. Audubon Pennsylvania project coordinator Kim Schubert said she taught lessons to students at Devers K-8 on habitats, adaptation and aquatic insects to prepare for the work.

“It really helps to make that connection with what they’re learning in the classroom,” she said of the event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. “It’s not just things that are happening in books; it’s things that are happening right there in their community.”

The students will make that connection through different learning stations around Kiwanis Lake. They will count endangered great egrets and black knight herons, study the water quality of Willis Run Creek and learn how to catch fish with help from Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission representatives.

The field trip will end with a habitat improvement project. Schubert said there are about 20 endangered great egrets and black-crowned night herons at Kiwanis Lake. With the students’ help, the Audubon Society will place trees along the lake as new nesting sites for the birds. They also will  install a student-drawn sign that designates Kiwanis Lake as one of the 85 important bird areas in the state.

The field trip is a combination of efforts by local community organizations, including Audubon Pennsylvania, the York Audubon Society, York Master Gardeners, the Appalachian Audubon Society, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Watershed Association of York.

The Audubon Society began partnering with local school districts and community members in 2007, and since then hundreds of local students have planted trees and shrubs at Kiwanis Lake, Penn Park, Lincoln Park and at their schools to help the birds and improve the ecosystem.

This year, the Audubon Society provided in-class programs such as this one to fifth- and sixth-grade classes, followed by field trips to Kiwanis Lake.

For more information about the program visit  Audubon Pennsylvania online.