Wildlife Warriors aim to understand, explore nature

<p>13-year old Logan Carter partnered with the Red-Tail Land Conservancy, RTLC, to start Wildlife Warriors. The group helps educate children ages 10 to 15 develop a deeper connection with the outdoors and learn how to protect nature. <strong>Jules Carter, Photo Provided</strong></p>

13-year old Logan Carter partnered with the Red-Tail Land Conservancy, RTLC, to start Wildlife Warriors. The group helps educate children ages 10 to 15 develop a deeper connection with the outdoors and learn how to protect nature. Jules Carter, Photo Provided

Membership in Wildlife Warriors costs $65 for the general public and $35 for Red-Tail Land Conservancy members, but the group offers scholarships to those in need. 

The word “warrior” can be defined as “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter,” but 13-year-old Logan Carter paired it with the word “wildlife” to give it a new meaning.

Partnering with the Red-Tail Land Conservancy, RTLC, Carter started Wildlife Warriors to help educate children ages 10 to 15 develop a deeper connection with the outdoors and learn how to protect nature. 

“When I started doing outreach, I realized kids knew so little about nature. They hadn’t seen common things like a hawk’s feather,” Carter said. “[Wildlife Warriors] helps them interact with nature versus learning in a classroom staring at a screen.”

Carter is passionate about wildlife conservation, and was awarded the Charles D. Wise Youth Conservation Award for his work in conservation of Indiana wildlife, especially bats.

He participated in the event Pulling for Bats which was hosted by the RTLC and the Bat Conservation International Youth Program, or BatSquad, and taught volunteers the importance of controlling the spread of invasive plants and conserving the natural habitat of bats and other wildlife. 

Jules Carter, Photo Provided

Now, Carter hopes to host a second Pulling for Bats event through Wildlife Warriors, along with several other events. The club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month in room 230 of the Cooper Life Science Building to learn about wildlife in new and exciting ways.

“The program’s topics correlate to what is happening outdoors in nature and also include fun outdoor skills,” said Julie Borgmann, interim director at the Red-Tail Land Conservancy. “We frequently have field trips on weekends to give the kids an opportunity to practice their new skills and knowledge out in nature.”

In March, the group learned about amphibians and traveled to Ginn Woods at Ball State to catch and release salamanders. This month the group’s meeting is titled Birds and Binoculars. 

The meeting will be led by Kamal Islam, a professor of biology at Ball State University, and his graduate students. 

Jules Carter, Photo Provided

While the group is currently at capacity, future meetings and topics are always being planned and Borgmann said they are working on ways to continue to get people involved.

“We will be accepting applications for a waiting list and sharing information with the waiting list about nature activities and opportunities in East Central Indiana,” Borgmann said. 

Borgmann also said the group also hopes other youth groups or teachers will use the content developed by Wildlife Warriors to expand the group and connect more youth to nature.

“Spending time in nature is so vital to our physical and mental health,” Borgmann said. “We need kids to care about their natural world for their own health and the health of our planet.” 

Contact Justice Amick with comments at jramick@bsu.edu or on Twitter @justiceamick.

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