Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday Roger Tory Peterson

Here is a press release I just received

Happy 100th Birthday to
Roger Tory Peterson
August 28, 1908

Painter, writer, teacher, scientist,
inventor of the modern field guide

The man who invented the modern field guide and America's foremost naturalist was Roger Tory Peterson. On August 28, 2008 please join nature lovers everywhere in celebrating his 100th birthday!

Although Mr. Peterson died in 1996, his legacy lives on at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York. The Institute houses a 10,000 book library, over 150,000 slides, limited-edition prints, film reels as well as thousands of original pieces of artwork in its museum, which is open daily to the public. In addition, personal memorabilia are on view from his travels around the world including 17 trips to Antarctica to see penguins. In fact, Roger was known to his friends as "King Penguin".

But the most important task of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute is encouraging kids to get out and observe the natural world around them. "We want to ignite a passion for nature in kids that will last a lifetime" says Jim Berry, president of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
Roger Tory Peterson was inspired by his 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Blanche Hornbeck, who had her students join the Junior Audubon Club. She encouraged Roger's drawing efforts and provided the "spark" that changed his life. She told the class "Your objective will be to learn all you can about birds, be kind to birds and protect them."

Today the Roger Tory Peterson Institute is deeply involved in teaching the teachers as well as the kids. "The future guardians of our environment may well be the 10 or 11 year olds that discover a passion for birds or frogs or butterflies today" says Mr. Berry. "Think of the Institute as the Nation's Nature Center. We are carrying on the legacy of Dr. Peterson by helping kids to experience that sense of wonder in nature. We are laying the foundation and investing in the future by focusing on the children. In order to protect wildlife and the habitats that support it, people first have to know what they are protecting."

Roger Tory Peterson Institute and MuseumJamestown, New York - Birthplace of Roger Tory Peterson
The Institute awards the prestigious Blanche Hornbeck Award for Excellence in Nature Education to teachers who possess an infectious enthusiasm that excites and teaches others. Applications for the 2009 awards are now available.
In conjunction with the Roger Tory Peterson Centennial Year, two new books have been published. Roger Tory Peterson: A Biography, by Douglas Carlson is a critical look at the man and his art while Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson, by Elizabeth J. Rosenthal is a recollection of the man by those who knew him best.

10 Things You Can Do To CelebrateRoger Tory Peterson's 100th Birthday

1. Take a child out for a morning walk in nature. Find out what they are passionate about! You may want to encourage them with a field guide for kids or one of the Peterson Field Guides.

2. Help your local Audubon Club or nature group set up a BioBlitz -- see how many living species of plants and animals you can find in a 24-hour period.

3. Become a Friend of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. Why not help continue their important mission by sending $100 in honor of Roger Tory Peterson's 100th birthday! The address is RTPI, 311 Curtis St., Jamestown, NY 14701. Make a secure gift on their website,

4. Learn more about Roger Tory Peterson, the man and his work. Contact the Institute at (800) 758-6841 to receive a free poster and a copy of the DVD "A Boy, a Book, a Legacy" ($10 shipping and handling) for your nature center, store or public area. Also read about his life and his passion:Roger Tory Peterson: A Biography Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson All Things Reconsidered Wild America

5. Donate a copy of the brand-new Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America to your local grade school library.

6. Nominate a local teacher or educator for the Blanche Hornbeck Award for Excellence in Nature Education from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

7. Tell a teacher about the amazing free resources available from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute at their web site. Over 250 nature articles are already available online. And watch for the completely redesigned web site next month! Do you know someone who is home-schooling their kids? Make sure they know about this web site!

8. Discover all the events planned for the Centennial Celebration! Find out how your organization can become a part of the fun!

9. Make a difference. Remember the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in your will and keep the passion alive. Call Jim Berry at (800)758-6841 ext 225 or Andrea Bloodworth at ext 234.

10. Grab a Peterson Field Guide and visit you local Nature Center, National Wildlife Refuge or State Park this weekend with your kids, grandkids or any youngster who wants to learn more about nature! Have them visit the web site when you get home to help identify the things you discovered.

Bonus: Read Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Roger Tory Peterson Institute

Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History311 Curtis StreetJamestown NY 14701716-665-2473 x226800-758-6841

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