by Mitchell Brown, Reporter
Within the wilderness of Pertle Springs in Warrensburg, Mo. on Saturday Sep 30, a steady stream of activity pertaining to nature and biology took place, as the 14th annual Bio Blitz was underway.
Various booths relating to biology, nature and the environment were set up, as young and old had gathered.
Chris Edmondson, University of Central Missouri student and main organizer of the event, said Bio Blitz was for education and outreach. The process of organizing the event was time consuming for Edmondson. She said her interest in science and nature extends back to when she was a kid.
“It’s just always been there,” Edmondson said. “My father is a biologist, and so, I’ve kind of grown up with it, and my daughter is 11, so I’m doing the same.”
“We’re just trying to get our local community interested in the local nature,” she continued. “We’re just trying to share our love of nature and science with our local community.”
A plethora of activities were on provided, some geared specifically for kids.
“A lot of things we are doing are like bird hikes, looking at the birds that come in, an insect hike just left. They are collecting the insects you can see right now,” Edmondson said.
Edmondson said she believes children are more receptive to concepts related to biology when they are transmitted via hands-on activities.
“A lot of people, kids especially, when they get their hands on something, they really find a love for it,” she said.
Along with the presentation of an educational component at Bio Blitz, an activist element was also present. Two informational booths placed side by side were the locally based Citizens For Environmental Action and The Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club was represented by The Thomas Hart Benton Group, based out of Kansas City,Mo.
“We’re here to tell about our activities and encourage membership,” Jim Turner, a representative from the group, said.
He explained about some of the key issues that Sierra Club focuses on, which includes renewable energy and maintaining clean water sources.
“It’s all very important to us to protect the water in Missouri,” Turner said.
The Sierra Club representatives at Bio Blitz were advocating for environmentalism and direct political action, as they were circulating a petition on the issue gerrymandering.
Given the amount of young people participating in Bio Blitz, Turner was willing to speak about youth involvement with environmentalism.
“I think in general young people are more aware of the dangers to our environment,” Turner said.