Ivy Academy To Hold 2nd Annual Christmas Bird Count

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ivy Academy will hold its second annual Ivy Academy Christmas Bird Count at the Ivy Academy campus and trails in Soddy Daisy, at 9 on Wednesday.

Holly Slater, Bird Count sponsor and Exceptional Education teacher at Ivy Academy, said, “My father instilled in me a love and appreciation for birding as a young child. We were the travelers taking all the back roads on vacations, so that we could pull over on the side of the road for any possible rare bird sightings. I still have a bird book he gave to me in 1994 in which he wrote, ‘Keep this always and we will never be far away, as the birds in your life will remind you of us and our birds.-All my Love, Dad.’ My hope is to spark some of that same passion for birds and birding into my Ivy students." 

The Ivy Academy Christmas Bird Count is a tribute to the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count that began in 1900. 

“We are not a recognized count circle in the Chattanooga area, although we plan to take students on Dec. 14, to participate in a Chattanooga count circle.  Our mission is to teach the next generation about the importance for citizen science surveying, bird conservation, and data collection for our lessons. Our goal is to be able to take every student at our school out for a day of birding, and we are accomplishing that for the second year,” said Ms. Slater.

The Ivy Academy Christmas Bird Count will be held Wednesday, at 9 a.m. Experienced birders and other community members have come from all over the area to pair with groups of students to go bird watching. Birding groups will consist of an experienced birder, a teacher, and student spotters, verifiers, and recorders. 

“We are overwhelmed at the outpouring of support from the community for this event. We do not take for granted the adults who donated time and expertise today,” said Angie Markum, Executive Director of Ivy Academy.

Ivy Academy is an environmental charter school that sits at the mouth of the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge in Soddy Daisy. The local wildlife, trails, and creeks play an important role in the academic experience for the school’s grade 9-12 students. Ivy Academy places a strong emphasis on outdoor education and project based learning. 

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