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First-Saturday bird walk will include poetry, KU presenters

August 31st, 2021

Words of a Feather poster

Kauffman Museum received a grant from Humanities Kansas to present “Words of a Feather,” Saturday, Sept. 4, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the museum’s front door.

The museum’s usual first-Saturday bird walk will be a special one for September, featuring poetry along with the birds, and two guest presenters.

Megan Kaminski and Molly Zahn from the University of Kansas will lead this family- and beginner-friendly bird and poetry walk “oriented to connecting participants to the natural bird habitat near Kauffman Museum, and to sparking conversation about our relationship with our common home,” said Kaminski.

Participants will start at the museum in chairs placed outdoors and then walk with Kaminski and Zahn through Chisholm Park, which includes woods, a creek and open pasture land.

The distance is about ¾ mile and all paved, so it is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Like all of the museum’s bird walks, this one is free and open to everyone.

Participants should dress for the hot weather – hats are recommended, as well as sunscreen, bug spray and a personal water bottle.

“The birding and poetry portions of the program are pretty much integrated,” Kaminski continued. “It’s an environmental humanities program, so both the birding and poetry will focus on building practices to establish and nurture ongoing relationships with birds and our larger ecosystems.

“We’ll definitely identify some birds that are out with us, but that won’t be the focus of the program.”

The total time for the program will be about an hour and a half, she added, and she and Zahn will stay afterward to answer questions and talk with participants.

Kaminski is a poet and an associate professor of English at KU, teaching poetry and environmental humanities and arts, while Zahn teaches religious studies at KU and leads guided bird walks in her spare time.

On the day of the event, all participants will receive a copy of the poetry and bird chapbooklet Words of a Feather provided by Humanities Kansas and edited by Kaminski with illustrations by Newton native Brad Sneed.

For more information, e-mail kauffman@bethelks.edu or call 316-283-1612.

Kauffman Museum is located at the corner of Main and 27th Streets in North Newton (see https://kauffmanmuseum.org/event/humanities-kansas-poetry-and-bird-walk/).

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are Tues.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the permanent and special exhibits is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. Visit www.kauffmanmuseum.org or Kauffman Museum’s Facebook page to learn more.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.