Press Release – The Kitchings Family Foundation Funds Science Education and Outreach Throughout Southeastern Connecticut
June 2, 2019 – The Kitchings Family Foundation has awarded The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center with two grants, totaling $30,000, to support educational activities throughout southeastern Connecticut. The funding will support educational programs for students in Essex area schools and educational activities outside of school programming, including the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s Connecticut River Lecture Series, Estuary Explorations program, and Citizen Science program.
Connecticut Audubon’s award-winning Science in Nature Education Program for students is a curriculum-linked, field-based program aimed at improving science literacy by exposing students to science and conservation concepts not easily taught in the classroom. Students study a series of science topics in their school classrooms, and then investigate these concepts in the out of doors using a variety of science tools and technologies, and under the guidance of trained teacher-naturalists. The Essex area schools program will focus more inclusively on the dominant and unique environmental influence of southeastern Connecticut with its coastal, estuary, and watershed ecosystems
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center will host its twice-annual Connecticut River Lecture Series, presenting a number of prominent regional authors, artists, and scientists, who connect residents to a wide range of topics aimed at the unique estuarine marine environment and communities. Recent speakers have included Connecticut State Ornithologist, Margaret Rubega, Harvard University Forest Senior Ecologist, Neil Pederson and Temple Professor Emeritus of Botany at Connecticut College, Scott Warren.
Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s Estuary Explorations is a field-based program, connecting participants directly with the estuary, upland watersheds, and coastal shoreline. Programs are conducted both on foot and by kayak. The program is led by conservation biologist Jim Arrigoni, with additional field leaders for special study, such as during peak migrations, amphibian breeding, and aquatic plant flowering.
Citizen Science, the use of trained volunteers to conduct scientific studies, allows Connecticut Audubon to contribute to research being conducted in southeastern Connecticut. The Kitchings Family Foundation will support recruitment activities, training, and coordination of volunteers who will engage in activities such as nest monitoring, horseshoe crab tagging, and ecological surveys.
“The Kitchings Family Foundation has become a true partner in conservation throughout southeastern Connecticut,” said Alisha Milardo, director of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center. “Through their generous funding, we see students of all ages, from the very young through adulthood, have the opportunities to engage with their unique estuarine environment and culture.”
The Connecticut Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats.
The Kitchings Family Foundation was established to support charitable organizations that benefit the public welfare. For more information, visit http://kitchingsfoundation.org/