Open Minds and Rewilding Hearts at Coyote Awareness Day
No wild animal in our community inspires such a wide range of human emotions as the Eastern coyote. Feared, cursed and admired too, coyotes have become Westchester County’s most controversial critter. Due to the passionate positive and negative responses that coyotes inspire in people, discussions about coexistence has become both contentious and undecided, but also full of promise.
In our efforts to broaden awareness and understanding for the Eastern Coyote, the Wolf Conservation Center and Muscoot Farm, a Westchester County Park, extended an educational family event to the community yesterday – Coyote Awareness Day!
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and Muscoot farm was buzzing with activity! A packed house enjoyed Westchester’s own Arden Hauck, 7th grade student coyote ambassador, kick off the event with a compelling introduction about the importance of following the science and opening our hearts to all wildlife that share the local landscape. The day also offered informative presentations by ecologist and evolutionary biologist Javier Monzón, Ph.D., and Sienna College’s Dan Bogan, Ph.D. of the New York suburban coyote study. In addition, children and adults alike flooded our coyote kiosks to work on a number of coyote crafts, hazing instruments, and pick up takeaways to empower participants with the information and resources to aid coexistence with this misunderstood predator.
By days end, families departed with a wealth of knowledge and with hearts a little wilder.