Have you ever wanted to get involved in a conservation project but didn’t know how? Check out these Community Science projects you can do in your neighborhood!
Birding for Conservation
Birds are everywhere! Scientists who study birds are called Ornithologists. Because wild birds are so widespread, it can be hard for ornithologists to study a population. Fortunately, there are ways that citizens can help provide data to the researchers through bird counts and nest observation studies, or you can even become a landlord for particular species of birds. Check out the Michigan Audubon page to learn more about how the birds in your backyard can help researchers.
Like birds, frogs are everywhere! FrogWatch USA is a program that trains people to recognize local frog calls so they can collect frog population data for researchers. Citizens record data a few minutes at a time over the spring and summer when frogs are most active. Then, they share their findings with researchers to help determine the health of frog populations. Why frogs, you might ask? Frogs are an indicator species which means they are very sensitive to changes in their environment. A decrease in frog calls can indicate a disruption in the environment.
Potter Park Zoo will be hosting FrogWatch training this spring! Watch our social media for more information! This can be a fun activity to do with budding herpetologists (scientists who study reptiles and amphibians).
Want to do something more hands-on? Why not become a volunteer at your local zoo?
We offer opportunities for people of all abilities and a wide range of ages. You can volunteer by yourself or with your family. At Potter Park Zoo volunteers help with events (both public and private), gardening and grounds, conservation education messaging, and in many more ways. We even have a summer program for teens to volunteer in specific areas of the zoo.
What are some of the benefits of being a volunteer at the zoo? You will meet other volunteers who are passionate about what they are doing. Current volunteers have told us they get a feeling of satisfaction from helping a worthwhile cause. If you contribute 50 volunteer hours in one year, you’re eligible for cool rewards like a zoo membership!
Maybe you are part of an organization and you enjoy doing community service together. You can contact Kelly, our volunteer coordinator, about volunteering as a group! Groups help us with large public events or with grounds beautification projects.
To learn more, visit our volunteer page at https://potterparkzoo.org/be-a-volunteer/
Volunteers do not interact directly with animals at the zoo. They support the zoo by volunteering at programs and events that support our mission and make the zoo a beautiful place to visit.