Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Christie Barnhart - Super Coordinator

Over the years World Bird Sanctuary has worked with many wonderful sponsor corporations to present our environmental education message to the public.

In many cases we are assigned a liaison to coordinate these presentations.  For the past few years Christie Barnhart has been our liaison for the Western District of Missouri American Water Company.  Following the tornado that devastated the Joplin area in 2011, Christie coordinated several World Bird Sanctuary presentations to help Joplin residents move forward from the terrible consequences. Her efforts were outstanding.
Christie Barnhart
Once the arrangements had been made between Missouri American Water and the World Bird Sanctuary to present the message of the importance of clean water to the people of Joplin and Warrensburg, it remained for someone to work out all the complicated details.  Christie Barnhart was that go-to person, and she took the ball and ran with it.

The task of coordinating a series of WBS presentations in a distant city can involve some complicated and often difficult scheduling.  When an organization such as WBS travels to a distant location with a troop of humans, animals and equipment for a stay of more than one day there are a thousand little details to be worked out.  If you’ve ever planned a vacation itinerary you’ve had just a taste of what’s involved in scheduling.  Throw animals and equipment into that mix and the complexity increases exponentially.
Christie at one of our school programs
Christie’s list of details included but was not limited to:

*            Contacting all the schools and meeting places for the live bird presentations and working out a schedule that fit in with class times, yet allowing us to travel from school to school with a minimum of down time

*            Making arrangements for volunteer Linda Tossing and I to visit all the grade schools affected by the 2011 Joplin tornado
WBS volunteer Linda Tossing, Christie Barnhart, & WBS trainer Roger Wallace 
*            Making arrangements to fly the Bald Eagle at the 2011 home opener of the Joplin High School football season after the tornado

*            Making arrangements to have the WBS in-house band, The Raptor Project, perform for Joplin

*            Arranging radio, TV, and newspaper coverage and interviews

*            Arranging for hotel accommodations for humans and birds

*            Christie always meets us at the hotel to chauffer the birds to each event so that we do not get lost when we are out of our hometown
WBS trainer Roger Wallace, Clark the Bald Eagle & Executive Director Walter C. Crawford, Jr.
Christie’s attention to detail enabled the World Bird Sanctuary staff to focus on the message we want to bring to our audience about the importance of clean water for humans and birds.  She helped the people who attended our programs realize that everything they put on their land affects their watershed.  The health of a watershed (and people’s drinking water within that watershed) is directly affected by those who live in that area.  The audiences were reminded that their actions determine how safe and clean their drinking water will be.

Although the Joplin area is not the only Missouri American Water sponsored series of programs, we always look forward to working with Christie when we are in her area.

Submitted by Mike Zieloski, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/EEC Manager

Photos by Mike Zieloski

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