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The Columbus Botanical Garden is hosting a ground-breaking Naturalist Lecture Series in honor of Mr. Sam Pate that we calling SAMPOSIUM.

This inaugural festival will feature a day of lectures on all-things ornithological as well as a day of family activities aimed at introducing children and parents to the wonderful world of birds. This series will feature a rock star in the world of birding, David Allen Sibley, as the keynote speaker. Other speakers will include former students of Sam’s who went on to pursue secondary degrees and careers in the naturalist field. This year, Ryan Chitwood, Andrew Dreelin and Chris McClure will speak on a variety of bird and naturalist topics as well as the Garden’s Director, Stefan Bloodworth.

This naturalist series is an opportunity to offer Columbus and the surrounding areas Sam’s passion for the natural world as well as an enriching life-long learning experience.

Program Schedule

8:30 – 9:00 Check-in, donuts and coffee

9:00 – 9:30 Stefan Bloodworth, Executive Director of the Columbus Botanical Garden: Birds in the Landscape

9:45 -10:45 Andrew Dreelin – Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University: Conservation in the Digital Age: How Technology Empowers Communities to Protect Birds 11:00 – 12:00 Ryan Chitwood, Masters in Ornithology at University of Georgia: A Bird’s Eye View of Climate Change

12:00 – 1:30 Lunch – optional onsite food trucks or off-site

1:30 – 2:30 Chris McClure, Director of Global Conservation Science for the Peregrine Fund: The State of the World’s Raptors

2:45 – 3:45: David Sibley, Author and illustrator Topic: The Art of Identification

3:45-4:15: Questions and Answer with David Sibley

4:15-5:00: Book signing with David Sibley


he author and illustrator of the series of nature guides including the New York Times best seller,  The  Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed art and articles to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and wrote and illustrated a syndicated column for The New York Times. He is the recipient of  the  Roger  Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and  the  Linnaean  Society of New York’s Eisenmann Medal.

March 15, 2020 – Sunday – SAMposium for Kids 2:00 – 5:00 pm

$12 – kids under 3 free

Five stations will be set-up throughout the Garden to help kids engage with nature and learn more about birding. You and your children can move from station to station and enjoy the offerings at your leisure.

Some stations will have start times, but you are free to come and go as you please. Stations include:

  1. Raptor Ramble: Meet raptors up close and personal and learn about Auburn University’s Raptor Rescue Program.
  2. Bird Mobile Station
  3. Create your own Sibley Bird Watching Field Guide
  4. Going on a Bird Watch
  5. Bird Books, Birthday Cake and Story Time: It’s a party on the patio with guest actor’s reading a collection of children’s stories. There will also be birthday cake to celebrate Mr. Sam Pate’s birthday week.
  6. Mr. Sam Pate’s Classroom: Experience Mr. Pate’s exotic classroom recreated inside the Farmhouse. You will find birds’ nests, stuffed critters, reptiles, bugs, and more.

A wonderful outdoor adventure fun for the whole family.

Tickets for the symposium:

Tickets for the raffle and overnight experiences for birdwatching with Sibley at W.C. Bradley Farms:

Chandler Collins
Development Director
Columbus Botanical Garden

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