BEN Banner 56
 Bird Conservation Through Education TM

June 26, 2013 

In This Issue
Living Near a Green Park
NEW! Flying WILD Online Tutorial
July: Park and Recreation Month
Thanks to our BEN Bulletin sponsor:
FW logo white with blue background

The Bird Education Network (BEN) was created following the February 2007 National Gathering, hosted by the Council for Environmental Education (CEE). BEN is a CEE initiative that seeks to connect and support a community of bird education professionals.


Over 4,000 individuals representing 300 organizations receive communications and engage in professional dialogue through the BEN-run Bird Education Listserv. 


A BEN Committee has been established to provide advice and guidance for this important initiative, to advance "bird conservation through education."

Quick Links
Living Near a Green Park; 
The "Life-Satisfaction" Factor
by Paul Baicich
Living near a park -- an urban park with green space, one that is nature-filled and bird-filled -- can make a difference in lowering mental distress and raising a feeling of well-being or life-satisfaction.

These were the conclusions in a recent study in Psychological Science, results released by a team of four researchers out of the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter in the UK.

They even measured how much happiness a green urban area would produce. The data was taken from the British Household Panel Survey, a survey of UK households that ran annually from 1991-2001, interviewing over 10,000 adults.

Not only did these researchers conclude that people are happier when living in urban areas with greater amounts of green space, they measured a "life satisfaction boost" generally equivalent to one-fifth to one-quarter of the increase associated with finding a job or being married. The increase in life satisfaction that accompanied nearby green space "was equivalent to 28% of the effect of being married rather than unmarried and 21% of being employed rather than unemployed."

While the impact of such green-ness at the individual level might be relatively small, the potential cumulative benefits could be much more significant.  Policymakers, according to the team, could deliver a big happiness boost to the community by designing greener cities, since the "benefits of a marriage, for example, will be fairly localized, whereas the benefits of a park may be universal."

You can read a summary of their paper here, along with a very interesting short video of explanation. You can find an official abstract from Psychological Science here

While these results are from the UK, not the US, the impact could be very similar for urban or near-urban dweller on this side of the pond. It's a concept that we bird educators might consider as we do our work.
Flying WILD  Online Tutorial Available!


Flying WILD guide cover
The Council for Environmental Education is excited to introduce the development of a free online tutorial dedicated to expanding outreach for the award-winning bird conservation education activity guide, Flying WILD. 


First published in 2004, Flying WILD is designed to assist teachers, students and volunteers in bringing bird education into our communities.  Student and Volunteer-led sections of the guide provide valuable middle-school service learning and community bird festival activity opportunities, while the Teacher-led section allows national science standards-based bird biology and natural history activity investigation in the classroom or nature center. 


Flying WILD is delivered through a nationwide network of City and State Partners which conduct lively hands-on workshops to train educators, volunteers, scout leaders, bird festival organizers, and others how to best utilize the Flying WILD materials. In addition, the guide may be purchased directly through the Flying WILD website. For information on a local workshop or to purchase a guide, visit


The new online tutorial provides additional direction, training, and information on how to use the Flying WILD materials with both student and community-based audiences. The tutorial offers a virtual training experience including background on the Flying WILD program, "flights" through the guide, and instructional videos modeling activities with groups. Entire chapters are dedicated to establishing bird education outreach through hosting public Flying WILD training events, bird festivals, and much more. To access the tutorial and accompanying resources visit:


The Flying WILD online tutorial was developed in-part through funds received from the Kaytee Avian Foundation.


Celebrate Park 
and Recreation Month
Consider July for your related bird-education work!

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation's official "Park and Recreation Month." Celebrate by choosing a new local park to explore urban and suburban birds. Involve summer camp groups and bring a friend!
For more information, including a helpful tool kit, visit here
BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
CEE logo CC good resolutionFor more information visit:
Newsletter maintained by: The Council for Environmental Education, Flying WILD and the BEN Committee.