Students spend a day birding at Celery Fields

  • 0

SARASOTA - You've seen adults come from all over to check out the birds and wildlife at the Celery Fields in Sarasota, but what about local students?

About 1400 students from across Sarasota County are getting a different learning experience this school year being taken out of the classroom and put into the wild to learn about birds native to the Suncoast.

Friday was not a typical day in the classroom for the 5th graders at Englewood Elementary.

"[We spent the day] watching the birds through the binoculars and writing about them," said student William English.

It is just one part of a program where students get to take a trip to the Celery Fields for two hours of identifying our local birds and plants.

"It helps us learn more about everything, and the animals and wildlife," English said.

It is part of the Celery Fields Explorers program, put on by the Sarasota Audubon Society and Around the Bend Nature Tours in hopes of making this stormwater facility an important place for education and environmental study.

"We want to get kids outside, hands on learning because they remember that and it goes with them for the rest of their lives,"said Around the Bend Nature Tours naturalist Karen Fraley.

The field trips have been taking place over the last month and introducing students to binoculars while they discover the ecosystems in the Celery Fields and learn about what it takes for our native birds to survive.

"It gives them a sense of home as being an important place and a vital place and a place for many things are dependent, not just our homes but the animals that live here." Fraley said.  "They might want binoculars, they are going to stop and want lunch and yeah, definitely stimulates the economy."

If you are interested in scheduling a trip, you can contact Karen at 794-8773 or

If you would like to donate to the Sarasota Audubon Society or for more information on their programs, click here.

Funding for the trip was provided by a grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.