Bring Birds in My Neighborhood® to Your School


Birds in My Neighborhood seeks volunteers to join pre-K to 5th-grade students during the school day for 2-3 hour trips.

Connecting Students with Nature

Since 2013, the volunteer-driven Birds in My Neighborhood®  program has helped connect more than 12,000 youth from 70 schools in the Chicago region to nature through birds. The program promotes children spending time outdoors as a safe way to socialize, exercise, support mental health, and become more familiar with the natural world. 

Apply to Bring Birds in My Neighborhood to Your School!

Educators can expect to receive 4 components of support through Birds in My Neighborhood:  

  1. Hands-on professional development for educators to learn about birds
  2. Volunteer Led visits of in-class, neighborhoods, and field trip sessions for student engagement.
  3. Bird-related classroom resources for extending the learning between volunteer visits
  4. Additional funds for educators to purchase materials related to the inquiry-based experience about birds 

School communities with the most need and interest in Birds in My Neighborhood, schools that have had a previous relationship with our program, and educator teams of two or more from PreK-5th grade are encouraged to apply. 

During the program, volunteers lead the students through various indoor and outdoor activities. Classroom educators are responsible for coordinating with their volunteers for the dates and times of these sessions. Educators also assist the volunteers with classroom management as needed. Educators have the important role of engaging students with birds in the time between volunteer visits. Openlands provides bird-related classroom resources for educators to continue this learning journey. Schools selected for BIMN 2023-24 will be notified on or before October 6. Make sure you stay updated by signing up for our Education newsletter. 

Meet Our Expert Staff

A woman wearing a black top smiles at the camera
Birds in My Neighborhood Program Associate
Openlands Staff Jessica Fong
Director of Education
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