Erik Yaw of Roseville is one proud Dad! His 4th grade daughter Juliana is on her way to the Nature Bowl finals thanks to her project on Burrowing Owls. Juliana, who attends Blue Oaks Elementary school in Roseville, is on a team of students who participated in a competition at the Placer Nature Center in early April, and her team was selected to advance to finals in Nature Bowl.
Juliana first discovered Burrowing Owls after reading the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen . When she told her teacher, Shannon Dalcerri Wells she wanted to do her report on Burrowing owls, Mrs. Wells suggested she contact Placer Land Trust. Juliana called our Land Manager, Justin Wages, who arranged a private tour for Juliana at our Swainson’s Grassland Preserve in Lincoln.
This gave her the opportunity to not only learn more about Burrowing Owls, but to see the efforts by PLT to create artificial nests and how we help preserve, protect and enhance the habitat for these funny little owls. She was even lucky enough to see a Burrowing Owl while she was there!
During the competition at the Placer Nature Center in Christian Valley, kids competed in multiple events including a nature trivia contest, a knowledge relay, and some students gave presentations about the important causes they chose. Juliana gave an oral presentation called an “Environmercial”, and created a poster board to illustrate the current situation of the owls and what she plans to do to help.
Juliana explained in her presentation that, “Burrowing Owls are listed as a species of special concern in California, and are in danger primarily due to loss of habitat. If we act NOW, we can prevent them from becoming endangered.”
After her presentation, experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife asked her some really tough questions like, “what makes burrowing owls different from some of the other owls in the area?” Juliana replied that they were “diurnal”, which means they are active in the day. Now that’s quite a vocabulary word for a 10 year old!
Her Dad Erik says, “Juliana’s time spent with Justin at PLT’s Swainson’s Grassland Preserve taught her a lot and she decided to begin fund raising with a goal of building habitat for burrowing owls with Placer Land Trust.” She is carving little wooden owls that you can get for just a $5.00 donation. She wants to raise enough money for Placer Land Trust to install another artificial burrowing nest, which is about $150. That is a very ambitious goal and clearly shows great passion, something her parents can be very proud of.
Erik also shared that teacher and Nature Bowl team leader Mrs. Wells taught the team after school and took them on many walks in the preserve behind the school.
The Nature Bowl finals will be held on the campus of Sacramento State, May 16 and many other schools in the area will be represented. We are proud of Juliana’s accomplishments and her passion for protecting Burrowing Owls. We know she’ll do great at finals!
What is the Nature Bowl?
Nature Bowl is an annual science based educational program for 3rd – 6th graders that increases ecological knowledge and conservation literacy. In team settings, students eagerly learn about the environment while building teamwork skills and sharpening their creative and critical thinking abilities.
We feel honored that Juliana chose Placer Land Trust as the organization she supports to help the Burrowing Owls.You can help her protect Burrowing Owls by making a donation to our Burrowing Owl Program. Here’s how: http://www.placerlandtrust.org/member-sign-up/