It was sixty years ago that Roger Tory Peterson and friend James Fisher wrote Wild America, a travelogue of the duo’s epic adventure discovering the wilds of the North American continent. In celebration of their exciting tale of exploration, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute launched Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors to investigate the wild places still left within the Chadakoin River corridor in Jamestown NY.
This past summer (2015) six local high school students and two Jamestown Community College students joined the Institute surveying for all forms of life within the Chadakoin River and surrounding corridor. As biological work is carried out, educational outreach complements the work in order to increase environmental literacy, stewardship and pride within the local community and beyond.
This upcoming summer (2016) the project will be continuing with six new local high school students, 3 returning students from last year, two whom have just graduated and will bring previous experience, one who will use last years experience to be a crew leader this year, and a new crew leader coming from JCC. We plan on continuing and carrying out plans from last year, but are focusing on adding more structure and organization to our research. We intend on collecting more data this year and presenting our findings to the local community and using it to help ongoing conservation efforts.
While this is the second year of the PWA Youth Ambassadors, RTPI intends to continue the program in years to come!