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January 8, 2013

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As we hike the rocky terrain and follow a few groomed trails, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for Prescott-area birds.

We”ll learn to use binoculars and western field guides supplied by the Prescott Audubon Society to become familiar with simple bird-watching techniques.

Other activities may include nature art, nature poetry and nature stories. Possible field trips, as well as guest lecturers from Prescott Audubon Society, The Highlands Center for Natural History, The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary and The Prescott Astronomy Club are scheduled.

Thank You to the Prescott Audubon Society for Sponsorship!

Now the really exciting news-As of yesterday afternoon, the club was filled up with a waiting list! It only took 1/2 day!! I did work out the transportation piece with our Bus Barn director if we do field trips to the lakes or the zoo. I will be able to drive an activity bus with the kiddos with a permission slip to go home. 

Again, many thanks for all of your support and let’s get together soon so we can ‘pen’ in some of these activities, if still interested. Please, feel free to share with PAS board members and/or supporters!  


Sue Lord
Abia Judd Elementary Behavior Coach
1749 Williamson Valley Road
Prescott, AZ  86305
(928) 717-3263

 For the Birds…and Children
By Sharon Arnold

In April 2000 Bronwyn Butterfield, who taught at Abia Judd Elementary, was exploring Sonoran desert ecosystems and the relationships among plants, animals and the physical characteristics of the desert. Prescott Audubon Society sponsored Bronwyn’s participation in the Audubon Institute of Desert Ecology.

Bronwyn was inspired to share what she learned with her students. By 2003 she and Mardi Read were co-leading an after school program at Abia Judd – “For the Birds Club.”

Over the years the club name changed, but the purpose stayed the same: involve elementary students in the fascinating discovery of the natural world with an empasis on the birds of Prescott.

After the first year Bronwyn led the club on her own…not completely without help. PAS supplied binoculars and field guides, and PAS members lent their talents giving support for classroom activities and field trip adventures. The volunteers include: Bonnie Pranter, Roy Houser, Sylvia Neely, Jim Morgan, J.R. Moore, George Prehmus,  Kathy Wingert, Mike Mueller, Diane Iverson, Eunice Lovejoy, Warren Miller, Cathy Palm-Gessner, Norma Jenkins and Sharon Arnold.

Favorite club activities were “eggsperiments” and “eggsplorations”. Besides learning not to cry over broken eggs, the children were encouraged to come up with their own scientific theories about an egg’s design, contents, and purpose. All the while Bronwyn helped lead them to correct answers. 

Bronwyn’s goal for all club activities was to inspire her students to learn enough about their environment so that they would want to help preserve it.

10 years and many students later, Bronwyn is retired, the name is now “Prescott Junior Audubon Nature Club” and it has a new leader. Sue Lord, the Abia Judd Behavior Coach, is building on what Bronwyn established. Fifteen kindergarten through 5th graders meet on Tuesday after school. They hike, identify plants, rocks and birds. Last fall, with the help of Cathy Palm-Gessner, they participated in an owl pellet dissection party.

Recently, thanks to generous support from PAS and a substantial discount arranged by Eric Moore, eight pairs of Vortex/Raptor binoculars were added to club supplies. Now all members will be well equipped for field trips. Abia Judd’s support for the club comes from tax deductible donations to the after school program which pays for the club’s leader.

Bronwyn was recognized for her inspiring, creative, long-term club leadership at the January 24, 2013 PAS program meeting.

You are welcome to volunteer “for the birds… and children” by calling Sharon Arnold, (928) 778-3958.