Ikes in Action: Young Ikes Program Takes Flight in Ohio

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Hawk flying through crowd

Ohio >> The Hamilton Chapter’s Young Ikes program has become a success by working with community partners and other League chapters around the Cincinnati area. A program in February that focused on Native Americans took about 90 kids on a journey back to the 1700s. In March, the Seven Mile Chapter hosted the Young Ikes for a reptile and amphibian program. The Hamilton Chapter teamed up with the Anthony Wayne Chapter in May for a Creek Freaks water quality educational experience. But an April event turned out to be the Hamilton Chapter’s most successful Young Ikes program of the spring. The chapter teamed up with Miami Valley Falconry, which provides interactive experiences focused on conservation, bird of prey education, and falconry (the art of hunting with falcons).

“The crowd was more than we expected – 85 kids plus parents, which added up to over 150 people,” says Barry Walls, who co-chairs the Young Ikes program with Yvonne Hayes. To make sure every child had a hands-on experience, the event was divided into three stations. At the first station, youth learned about birds of prey, including owls and red-tailed hawks. Next were games to show the kids how birds of prey hunt for food, what they eat, and how they live. But the third station was the most exciting. “Everyone was amazed when the falcons soared over and through the crowd as stories were told about these amazing hunters of the sky,” Walls said.

Miami Valley Falconry shared praise for the Hamilton Chapter on its Facebook page:

Hawk in flight

We had the opportunity to go out to the Hamilton Chapter and show our raptors and talk about conservation, bird  of prey biology, and what it takes to be a falconer. It was really a great time and we can’t say enough good things about the Hamilton Chapter and the Izaak Walton League of America and what they do.

If you are interested in getting into conservation efforts around you or other places for you and your family, please give these guys a look. They have great family packages with amazing hands-on experiences that are great for all ages.

The Young Ikes co-chairs look forward to forging more community partnerships like this one and getting even more youth outdoors.