Spring into Action with AZA at the Museum of Life and Science
April 19, 2023
Earth Day is April 22, and it’s also the kickoff for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Party for the Planet: Spring into Action, a yearly celebration encouraging folks to create habitats, reduce and clean up litter, and get outdoors!
Here at the Museum of Life and Science, we have a constant commitment to conservation education and action. We’re bringing some of our green events and programs to the forefront during this season to celebrate Party for the Planet alongside the many other participating AZA organizations.
Check out our plans for the season below!
April 22: Earth Day
Get ready to Spring into Action by making a plan for your involvement in the season! We will host training onsite for the iNaturalist app to participate in the Durham BioBlitz, the unveiling of our 30×30: Art, Nature & Science community art project, and a printable tracker available for you to chart participation in the season. This printable will be recycled into new materials at our Party for the Planet event. Prefer paperless? You can post your engagement online and show us at Party for the Planet!
April 22 – May 7: Durham BioBlitz and Birding Challenge
This citizen science project is led by Keep Durham Beautiful, with the Museum of Life and Science as one of the long-time participants and contributors. Learn how to use iNaturalist at the Museum on April 22 – 23. April 23 is also ¡Celebremos las ciencias!, so training will be available in both English and Spanish! Afterwards, get outdoors and log what species you see through this collaborative effort to understand Durham’s natural spaces.
The Great Birding Battle – Beat Ranger Greg!
Park Naturalist and museum celebrity Ranger Greg has put together an incredible challenge to see who can log the most birds spotted on campus: him, or all of us put together! Grab his checklist at the museum or print your copy and get birding. If you’re practicing with iNaturalist, you can also use the app in lieu of a checklist! Checklists will be tallied at Bird Bonanza on May 6 to count towards the challenge.
April 26: Durham Farmers Market
Find our stand at the Durham Farmers Market to learn more about the BioBlitz and our natural surroundings!
May 3 & 10: Carolina’s Wild Butterflies Workshop
Sign up for this free workshop here! In partnership with the Carolinas Butterfly Monitoring Project, this workshop with introduce you to North Carolina’s wild butterflies, how to identify them, and how to become a citizen-scientist butterfly monitor.
May 6: Bird Bonanza
Soar into the museum to learn all about our local feathered friends. You’ll meet with bird experts from the Triangle and learn how to support local wildlife in tangible ways. Turn in your birding checklist at the event to be counted towards the Birding Battle competition!
May 6: Moth Watch
As the sun sets after Bird Bonanza, we’ll head out to our creek trail and see what moths we can find! Join experts from the Museum and Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association on a moth watch with special tools and guides. This program is free, and you can register for it here.
May 7 – 13: International Compost Awareness Week
Join us for drop-in compost programming on Sunday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 9 (Durham Community Day), and stop by the Lab on May 9, 12, and 13 to Draw a Decomposer and learn more about the critters that live in our compost! Visit between 10 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 3 pm to attend these programs.
May 14 – 20: Bear Awareness Week
Meet with AAZK and our Animal Care Team at our bear overlook on May 14 for Q&As focused on coexisting with the bears that live in North Carolina and keeping wildlife wild! There will be a bear Q&A every day at 2 pm throughout the week. Stop by to ask all your bear questions and grab a temporary tattoo!
May 20: Culmination Celebration: Party for the Planet!
On Endangered Species Day, we will reflect on the past month and celebrate the work that we all can contribute to support our world’s biodiversity. Whether you attended one or many of our Spring into Action programs, you are welcome to come learn and grow with us at this event. Bring your activity tracker to get a special ‘Spring into Action’ pin, and to see us transform the old paper into new materials! Can’t make this event? Turn in your activity tracker at Elements Museum Store until May 28 to collect your pin.
Why keep all the action on the Museums campus? Take the Spring into Action season as a chance to assess how you can protect and support the natural spaces around you. Check out the below resources from AZA for some ideas!
Create a garden for wildlife (National Wildlife Federation)
Create a bird-friendly habitat (National Wildlife Federation)