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CROW launches new Fun Patch Series for youth organizations

By Staff | Sep 29, 2011

As an educator, Lynn Ridlehoover is accustomed to creating programs for students of many backgrounds and education levels. So when she was given the opportunity to design a program for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, she took the challenge.

“To me it was rewarding and challenging,” she said about the program for youth organizations she co-created with Bev Ball, who is also on CROW’s education committee.

The Fun Patch Series that launches in October is designed to educate the younger generation about CROW’s mission and the importance of peacefully co-existing with our wildlife neighbors. Unsustainable development and thoughtless human actions constantly threaten the remarkable and diverse populations of our native wildlife.

As our human population grows, the risks these animals face increase, as well. But, each of us can make a difference with our wildlife neighbors; we can cut risk to animals and make a positive environmental impact. Youth organizations like Girl and Boy Scout troops are invited to participate in this first Fun Patch Series workshop where you will learn how to take an active role in reducing wildlife threats and injuries. And Ridlehoover hopes participants will take away more than just the “fun patch” from the workshops.

“The balance of nature depends upon awareness and stewardship of our environment,” said Ridlehoover. “Our native animals play a significant role to achieve this balance and must be protected to insure this balance.”

To earn a fun patch, participants must complete and demonstrate a series of tasks during each workshop at the Healing Winds Visitor Education Center. There are 10 Fun Patch Series workshops, each with a different patch to collect.

“As former Girl Scouts and campers, Bev and I realize how very important it is for young people to acquire knowledge that gives them confidence in many different situations,” Ridlehoover said.

The first two-hour workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8 at the Healing Winds Education Center, 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road. Other workshop dates include Oct. 22, Nov. 5 and 19, Dec. 3 and 17, Jan. 7 and 21, as well as Feb. 4 and 18. Ridlehoover and Ball invite groups comfortable with a fourth-grade level presentation to schedule their Fun Patch Series workshop.

“I miss the opportunity (to create educational programs) and thank CROW for giving me the opportunity to create programs for the Scouts, 4-H and Sanibel Rec children’s programs.”

In addition to educational programs and the public visitor education center, CROW operates a veterinarian hospital that sits on a 12.5-acre campus on Sanibel Island. It is dedicated to the rescue, care, rehabilitation and eventual release of wildlife back into their natural habitats. Inherent to its mission is the education of adults and children, encouraging them to live a peaceful co-existence with our wildlife neighbors.

If you would like to sign up your youth organization for a Fun Patch Series workshop, call CROW at 472-3644. For more information about CROW, visit HYPERLINK www.crowclinic.orgwww.crowclinic.org.