The power of Art for Outreach- knitted birds!

For those that know me outside the academic world, know that I am a hobby-holic. If I can learn how to craft it, can it, tan it or felt it, you are just scraping the surface of what I have tried or will hobby into something. I started this blog as a way to provide some graduate student reference for life, to reach the public about Arctic science and the wonders of the natural world and have now truly discovered the power of using these hobbies and art-outlets, as I call them, to empower the public about awareness to the natural world.

It all truly has started at The Net Loft. No matter where you come from, you are welcome at The Net Loft. A cozy, quaint and enchanting store filled with any fiber, paper and inspiration for creation you can think of. And what makes it that much more of a place to connect with your inner artist, is the people; the staff that are just as passionate about your ideas and projects as you are. Bring in an idea and they help you source materials and references to get you what you need. But aside from the actual making of your craft is the sense of community. Knitting nights, tea with candied pecans (thank you Frances!), motivational support for getting through tougher projects or patterns, and encouragement to try something new. Seeing the wonderful art coming from your neighbors is what makes this place more than just a beautiful store.

The Copper River Delta Birds by Hand Project, through The Net Loft, was something I instantly wanted to be a part of. The project objective was to engage and inform knitters and handcrafters about the wonder of long-distance migratory shorebirds that use the Copper River as a prominent staging area, particularly during spring migration.

Copper River Delta Birds by Hand Project Information

Join the Facebook Group HERE

So knitters could submit any kind of hand made bird to the flock to be put on display at the Cordova Community Center museum. Birds would be individually marked so you could look through our book and find out each bird migration and how and why they made it to Cordova. The color banding scheme followed the Pan American Shorebird Banding Protcol. Leading up to the Festival and Spring migration 2018, birds started to arrive!

In celebration of the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival we worked for two full days constructing our scene and highlighting each and every hand made bird that was donated or temporarily contributed to the flock. I really enjoyed helping create this display. Our opening event was really well attended, offering snacks and punch and watching as people ‘birded’ and read about where each bird had come from.

Blank canvas in the museum, ready to set up the flock!


View from the front for the almost finished display.
A few shorebirds
A map generated to show where each bird came from, coloured by country.
With over 250 birds, it was hard to get them all in one photo.

So for those of you who love birds and want to get involved, follow these links to find out more about contributing a migrant to this flock. Each year it will grow bigger and bigger and everyone is welcome to be a part of this celebration of birds and the Copper River Delta 🙂 Happy Knitting!



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