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Connecting Childrento Nature: CNO's First Annual "Bring Your Child to Work Day"
California-Nevada Offices , April 26, 2007
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Employees from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office demonstrated various fish surveying techniques during  CNO's Bring Your Child to Work Day.
Employees from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office demonstrated various fish surveying techniques during  CNO's Bring Your Child to Work Day. - Photo Credit: n/a
Refuge Supervisor Dan Walsworth shares a wildlife watching moment with grand daughter, Kara.
Refuge Supervisor Dan Walsworth shares a wildlife watching moment with grand daughter, Kara. - Photo Credit: n/a
Refuges' Diane Harris joins her sons and others on the refuge observation platform.
Refuges' Diane Harris joins her sons and others on the refuge observation platform. - Photo Credit: n/a
Louanne McMartin, non-native invasive species coordinator at Stockton FWO explains what exactly is in the fish tank to participants of CNO's Bring Your Child to Work Day.
Louanne McMartin, non-native invasive species coordinator at Stockton FWO explains what exactly is in the fish tank to participants of CNO's Bring Your Child to Work Day. - Photo Credit: n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a sunny and blue morning on April 26th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California and Nevada Operations Office celebrated its first Bring Your Child to Work Day event.  CNO  employees were invited to bring their children on a field trip to Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.  A short ride from Sacramento, Stone Lakes is the 505th refuge in the national system and is uniquely situated to provide a buffer to increasing urbanization in the Sacramento area.  The refuge is planning on increasing public use opportunities in the near future. 

 

At the refuge, acting Project Leader Beatrix Treiterer, quickly engaged the children with a box of “finds” such as coyote, muskrat, and skunk fur, a beaver’s skull, hawk wings and more and then quizzed them on identification.  During the field trip, children were encouraged to identify wildlife from the wildlife viewing platform using bird books and other handouts. Bea, Outdoor Recreation Planner Amy Hopperstad and University of California-Davis student volunteer Anne Pellegrini shared information on the different types of wildlife and habitat at the refuge, while the children kept an eye out for wildlife with scopes and binoculars.  On the way back, several children spied a pond turtle and watched as it slowly made its way down a log and slipped into the water.

 

The Stone Lakes field trip was followed by a picnic and beach seine demonstration at Discovery Park, located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers.  The children ate quickly and then scrambled down the bank to see a pair of mallards and a Canada goose with at least one gosling in tow.

 

Over at the boat ramp, Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office fishery biologist Louanne McMartin had set up a tank containing an assortment of small fish and bullfrog tadpoles that had been seined from the river.  Monitoring program biologist Jackie Hagen gave a short talk and answered the children’s question about seining and the fish that were caught.  Stockton FWO’s research vessel "Silversides" was anchored to the side of the boat ramp with a large seine behind it and fishery biologists Bill Powell and Jonathan Thompson gave the beach seining demonstration.  The children learned how data was collected and how it was used to gauge the health of the Delta.  As the fish were seined in the children crowded around to touch and identify silversides, Sacramento pike minnow and suckers, salmon and more tadpoles. 

 

By early afternoon, it was time to get to “work”.  Back at CNO offices at Cottage Way, the children were encouraged to complete fun activities, such as making bird silhouettes, raptor mobiles, and planting flowers.  Children also participated in their parents’ daily work by responding to email, taking voicemail messages, recycling paper, and other age appropriate tasks.  All of the children received a certificate of participation from CNO Deputy Manager Ken McDermond and a “goodie bag” full of wildlife stickers, wildlife oriented games and a “bird facts” tee shirt.

 

The day was a big hit with the children and parents/grandparents alike.  At least several children were heard to ask “Are we going to do this again next year?” A big “Thank You!” to the Project Leaders and staff at the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office who engaged the children with that “sense of wonder”  And, a special "Thank You!" to Dara Rodriguez, Budget and Administraion CNO, without whose inspiration and energy the day would never have happened.  On this special day, families bonded together and the Service is one step closer to ensuring the future of conservation.

 


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov



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