Explore with 'My Own Backyard' beginning Oct. 5

Sep 29, 2014

Tri-town libraries are starting off their “My Own Backyard” program on Sunday, Oct. 5.

The “My Own BackYard” program is for families with students in grades three through eight.

Science educator and author Michelle Cusolito, along with local scientists and field experts, will join library staff in exploring the local environments of the three towns in all four seasons.

The local land trusts, environmental agencies, businesses and other organizations will partner with the three libraries in bringing the science in our own backyards to life for students.

The goal is to gain an understanding of nature and the local environment in more detail and introduce students to interesting professionals with careers in science, technology, math and engineering.

Hear about ways to explore the science of the outdoors as a citizen scientist on Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library.

Everyone is invited to learn more about a new project offered by three local public libraries. Plumb Library in Rochester, Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion and Mattapoisett Library will have a year of wild outdoor adventures.

The free kick-off event, “Bees ‘n Bogs” will be held on Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m., featuring BEE INFORMED, a group from the Bristol County Beekeepers.

They will bring a teaching hive, and families can learn how bees pollinate the bogs and make honey interact. There will be honey and products from the Ocean Spray Cranberry Company to taste.

Sign up to attend by calling 508-758-4171 (Mattapoisett Library), 508-763-8600 (Rochester) or 508-748-1252 (Marion), or by stopping by one of the libraries.

The cranberry harvest and industry will be further explored on a cranberry bog tour in Rochester at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18. Students and their families are invited to meet at the Hartley bogs at 22 Walnut Plain Road where they will see the harvest in progress and tour the bogs and sorting barn with bog owner Woody Hartley. This is an opportunity to ask questions and find out how cranberry industry technology has evolved.

A boulder marking the entrance says #22 Hartley-Rhodes. Look for the #MOBYfun sign! Drive down the dirt road, park near the barn and staff will be there to direct visitors.

After each program, upload photos and comments to the new My Own BackYard Facebook page, MOBYfun. Tweet #MOBYfun to share adventures and ideas!

The new #MOBY logo, on all our library backpacks and materials, was designed by local artist Bill Finnegan.

Dozens of science backpack kits are being created so that students can check them out, go out in the field, and do their own exploring, observing and data collection. Young scientists are encouraged to makes notes in their nature journals and to upload their data to the library websites and Facebook page.

Future programs include exploring seashores, vernal pools, letterboxing with Toby Dills and a ladybug citizen science field class with author Loree Griffin Burns.

All programs and materials are free to the public. The program is being funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from the Library Services and Technology Act, a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.