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June 7, 2010

AmeriCorps Member Improves Camp Hollis Bird Watching Area

Oswego County AmeriCorps member Cosima Sokal-Davidson stands next to the new birding display which she created and installed at Camp Hollis in the town of Oswego.

Camp Hollis, a residential camp which is owned by Oswego County and serves its residents, has long been an ideal location to observe the many aspects of nature. Children who attend the summer camp as well as other youth groups, families and visitors enjoy nature walks and relaxing along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Many migratory birds travel along the shoreline near Camp Hollis each year, and bird watching is one of the many nature programs the camp offers.

"Visitors to Camp Hollis enjoy watching birds from the beautiful bluff overlooking the lake and along the woodland trails," said Jim Farfaglia, senior youth services specialist for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. "The shoreline provides unique habitats and excellent opportunities for birding. Various types of raptors migrate over the area, and many species of songbirds, gulls and other waterbirds nest along the shoreline."

Now, thanks to AmeriCorps member Cosima Sokal-Davidson, visitors can easily identify some of the birds they're seeing at Camp Hollis. Cosima created an interpretive display board to help people learn more about some of the typical birds that can be seen from the camp's shore. The display was researched, created and installed by Cosima and a set of volunteers as part of her AmeriCorps Community Outreach Project.

"I wanted to be creative with my project and do something that would last a long time and impact people, even after my term of service ends," said Cosima. "I spent six summers as part of the Camp Hollis staff and a few summers as a camper. I think Camp Hollis is a wonderful part of Oswego County!"

Along with service hour requirements, AmeriCorps members develop a plan, recruit volunteers, and coordinate their own community outreach project.

For more information about AmeriCorps, contact Kathy Andolina, AmeriCorps Director at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3541. For more information about Camp Hollis programs contact Jim Farfaglia at 349-3241 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3241. Information about both programs can be accessed through Oswego County's Web site at oswegocounty.com/youth/hollis.

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