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From school field trips to science festivals, birding expeditions, and workshops, Sylvan Heights Bird Park offers year-round science learning opportunities for all ages. At one of the nation’s largest avian conservation centers, science education has always been at the forefront. Each year, Sylvan Heights Bird Park, located in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, hosts thousands of students from across North Carolina and southern Virginia, making the park one of the premier fieldtrip destinations of the region–but the educational opportunities at the park don’t end when school is out.
Many educators choose to enhance their trip with educational programs and activities offered at the Park pre-K through 12thgrade students can meet live animals while learning about waterfowl, wetlands, ecology, and biology with hands-on educational programs meeting Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and NC Essential Standards (NCES) guidelines. Activities that engage students and encourage critical thinking during their tour of the park are also offered, such as the Wetland Safari. The park takes learning on the road with educational outreach programs at schools, libraries, and other facilities throughout the region. Sylvan Heights also conducts multiple community events in support of the STEAM initiative, including summer science and art camps, field sketching workshops, birding expeditions, and North Carolina Science Festival activities. The park recently launched the groundbreaking “Soaring Into Science” program, which gives local rising 9th graders a head start in high school science curriculums through a series of hands-on courses that cover topics in biology, chemistry, ecology, field sampling, lab techniques, and data analysis. Educational guided tours are offered year-round for college and continuing education groups to provide an inside and in-depth look at the birds of Sylvan Heights. In addition to year-round programs offered to visitors and students, Sylvan Heights has also recently embarked on an exciting new collaboration with East Carolina University. The two organizations will be working together to pursue the conservation of endangered birds worldwide through joint research opportunities and the education of future generations of biologists, ornithologists, and conservationists.
Park Sylvan Heights Bird Park is designed to give visitors an unforgettable up-close experience with over 2,000 waterfowl, parrots, toucans, flamingos, and other exotic birds from around the world. Open to the public since October 2006, the 18-acre facility features spacious, walk-through aviaries displaying birds from South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The aviaries are surrounded by tranquil gardens and natural wetland areas, which enhance the beauty of the birds on exhibit and immerse visitors in native North Carolina wildlife habitat. Behind the scenes, Sylvan Heights Bird Park is working to ensure that populations of the world’s rarest birds are protected from extinction. The neighboring Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center works to propagate endangered species like the White-winged Duck from Sumatra, the Bernier’s Teal from Madagascar, and the Scaly-sided Merganser from China. Although the Avian Breeding Center is not open to the public, visitors can see and learn about many endangered species in the exhibits at Sylvan Heights Bird Park.