In 2016 the artwork of five young Eleutheran students will be featured in the International Kirtland’s Warbler Calendar. Recently, the students’ artistic work was acknowledged when Camilla Adair, Deputy Manager of the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve in Eleuthera, visited their schools to present them with the newly printed calendars featuring their drawings.
This all stems from a visit last year from Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Education Officer, Scott Johnson, who gave them lessons on the Kirtland’s Warbler and then invited them to participate in a poster competition where their art could be featured in the calendar. To everyone’s great delight the children’s works were featured in the calendar, they include: Nahjee Symonette – Grand prize winner (front cover), Candon Farrington – Runner-up (August 2015 cover page), Abigail Ramnarine- Runner-up (May 2016 cover page), Tyesha Morley – Runner-up (bottom March 2016 page) and Javanna Rankine – Runner-up (bottom September 2016 page) all from Tarpum Bay Primary School.
Additionally, Kaidyn Auguste, Makena Alleyne, Mashana McCardy and Selena Ingraham from Tarpum Bay Primary School, Gia Morley and Nathalia Saunders from Rock Sound Primary and Cortez Brown and Kevaughn Burrows from Green Castle Primary received Honourable Mentions in the competition and are listed in the back of the calendar along with their photos.
“The Kirtland’s Warbler Calendar contest highlights and features drawings from students in both The Bahamas – specifically the Island of Eleuthera – and Michigan, USA” said Johnson. “The contest is an annual way to educate both Bahamian and American students about the once endangered and now threatened Kirtland’s Warbler, as well as the other wildlife the bird lives with and the habitats that this very special bird lives in.”
Students on Eleuthera drew pictures of the Kirtland’s Warbler on its wintering grounds, which are exclusively in The Bahamas; and Michigan students depicted the bird on its breeding grounds, which is Michigan, lower Ontario, and Wisconsin.
Eleuthera was selected as the main Bahamian island featured in the competition because of research work that has been conducted on the Warbler, Johnson noted, “The contest is a great way to bridge the gap between scientific research and the communities understanding of the amazing wildlife found in The Bahamas.”
The competition was just one of the ways that the BNT hopes to get students involved in conservation and that these same students will protect the Bahamian ecosystems and wildlife for future generations. Calendars may be purchased online through the Eastern National Forests Interpretive Association on their website at enfiamich.org.