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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STOCKTON FWO: Engaging Youth in Nature During Bring Your Child to Work Day
Region 8, April 23, 2009
Meghan Newman, daughter of Ken Newman, shoots arrows at targets assisted by MAYA Archers of Roseville, Calif.(photo: USFWS)
Meghan Newman, daughter of Ken Newman, shoots arrows at targets assisted by MAYA Archers of Roseville, Calif.(photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Taylor Webb, daughter of Heather Webb, particpates in archery target practice, USFWS. (photo: USFWS) 
Taylor Webb, daughter of Heather Webb, particpates in archery target practice, USFWS. (photo: USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Zachary Newman, son of Ken Newman, listened as staff from the California Waterfowl Association taught the kids about waterfowl. (photo: USFWS)
Zachary Newman, son of Ken Newman, listened as staff from the California Waterfowl Association taught the kids about waterfowl. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Children investigate local wildlife. (photo: USFWS)
Children investigate local wildlife. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Heather Webb and Ken Newman Stockton FWO
On April 23, 2009, the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Sun River Unit hosted Region 8’s 3rd annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day Event.” Service employees were invited to bring their children to work and to participate in wetlands and wildlife exploration activities at the refuge. The children of Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office (STFWO) employees, Ken Newman (Zachary and Meghan) and Heather Webb (Taylor), were present to participate in the outdoor festivities. This years event theme was focused on ‘Engaging Youth in Nature;’ aspiring to get kids outside and interact with the nature found in their own backyard. Anticipation levels rose for all the children in the buses and vans during the ride to the refuge; fortunately, it was a short ride! The refuge partnered with California Waterfowl Association, Migratory Birds Joint Venture, and MAYA Archers of Roseville, Calif., to put on the event. Maya Archers put up straw bales with paper targets and inflated balloons for participants to shoot arrows at.  Children and adults were given personalized lessons in how to aim and fire an arrow, got the chance to try out both recurve and compound bows, and managed not to shoot any animate beings. California Waterfowl Association exposed the children to the exciting world of migratory birds, and introduced them to the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest. Children also learned about the characteristics that distinguish waterfowl from other birds, such as webbed feet, which help them to survive outdoor conditions on the refuge.  Service personnel led the children and the adults on a short walking tour of the Unit.  Using the disposable cameras they were given, the children were able to capture the beauty of the refuge’s wildlife through their own eyes; everyone is looking forward to seeing a sure-to-be eccentric variety of photos.  Wildlife and wildlife signs seen that day included teeth-marked sticks that had been gnawed on by beavers, a flock of pelicans flying over the archery range, a striped skunk that raced across the entrance road, lots of herons and egrets roosting in rookeries with their eggs and newly hatched young, redwing blackbirds, hawks, and black phoebes.  After building up an appetite from the day’s activities and hiking, everyone enjoyed a picnic on the refuge to round off the day and to take another step along our path of ‘Engaging Youth in Nature.’

Contact Info: Heather Webb, (209) 946-6400 X307, heather_webb@fws.gov