Birding and Mindfulness at Leach Botanical Garden

Group of 20 Blueprint Foundation youth and mentors. The group is posed in front of a pergola in a courtyard at Leach Botanical Garden with vegetation visible in the background.

Last month mentors and youth from The Blueprint Foundation and African Youth & Community Organization visited Leach Botanical Garden for a morning of birding and meditation. TBF and AYCO are part of the Back 5 Partnership that organizes educational and community science opportunities with an emphasis on underserved youth and adults.

Here’s what the Blueprint Foundation had to say about the event!

“[Last month], The Blueprint Foundation stewards and mentors embarked on a soul-soothing journey with Nicole from Through the Trees Collective at the gorgeous Leach Botanical Garden. Embracing the second weekend of Black History Month, we immersed ourselves in the beauty of birding and mindfulness. As the morning sunlight split through the trees around Johnson Creek, we hiked, listened, and marveled at the songbirds singing surrounding us. American Crows, graceful ducks, and a myriad of signs that our feathered friends shared their morning with us like noticing holes in the bark of trees and feathers along our path. Our minds were filled with facts about migration patterns, diets, feather types, and the vital roles these creatures play in our global ecosystem.

Blueprint students also delved into an immersive experience, learning about flooding and watersheds over time. Led by Marlee from Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Jami from Leach Botanical Garden , a captivating erosion and flooding activity unfolded, allowing us to test ideas while reflecting on the lessons from the past floodings that displaced people, homes, and animals. The day culminated in a serene guided meditation by Nicole, where we embraced moments of quiet reflection, affirmations, and a journey with our ancestors to our own place of home, followed by lunch at one of our favorite places. It’s crucial to take the time to relax, feel affirmed in affinity, and cherish every moment of community. Not just during Black History Month, but in every precious moment we are given.”

Check out more of our work in the Back 5 at the new Leach Back Five website!

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