GREENVILLE — Jr. Naturalists Darke County Parks invites students in grades 3-6 to join them for the Jr. Naturalists program on Saturday, April 8 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Shawnee Prairie Preserve on State Route 502 west of Greenville.
This month the students will participate in “Draw a Bird Day” and creating their own nature journals.
Draw a Bird Day began in England in 1943 when 7-year-old Dorie Cooper visited her uncle who was wounded in the war. In an attempt to cheer him up, she asked him to draw a bird for her. After seeing her uncle’s bird picture, Dorie laughed out loud and proclaimed that he was not a very good artist, but that she would hang the picture in her room nonetheless. Her laughter brightened several other wounded soldiers’ day, and every time Dorie came to visit thereafter, they held drawing contests to see who could produce the best bird pictures. Within several months, the entire ward’s walls were decorated by bird drawings.
Dorie passed away from an accident a few years later, and ever since then, those from the hospital remember the little girl who brought hope by drawing birds on her birthday, April 8. Draw a Bird Day was never declared an official holiday, but today it is celebrated world-wide as a way to express joy in the very simplest of things in life and as a way to help soldiers everywhere forget war and suffering even if only for a short time.
The Jr. Naturalists will explore nature and enjoy the sunshine while looking for subjects to fill their sketchbooks with. The Jr. Naturalists is a series of monthly programs designed to give third-to sixth-grade students hands-on interaction with the natural world and a look at the current and historical place within it.
Hikes, games, crafts, and service projects are all a part of this integrated study group. A $3 fee is charged for the program, and registration is required. Remember to dress for the weather. For questions about the Jr. Naturalists program or any other park district programs or to register for the April class, call the park office at 937-548-0165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.