Programs Friends of Warner Parks partners with the Nature Center, Metro Parks, and other organizations to fund or offer various programs that have a profound impact on the lives of thousands in Middle Tennessee each year. Environmental Education Friends of Warner Parks devotes a significant portion of its annual budget to supporting environmental education programs at the Nature Center. Environmental Education at Warner Park Nature Center impacts tens of thousands of individuals each year. From more than 10,000 school children who visit for field trips and class projects, to university groups conducting sophisticated research, to adult programs about topics like composting and bird identification, there truly is something for everyone at the Nature Center. Click here for the Nature Center’s latest seasonal program schedule. Bird Information, Research and Data (B.I.R.D) Birds are a big deal in Warner Parks. The Nature Center is one of only a few places in the country where observers can watch bird banding in action! Bird research has been ongoing here since naturalist Amelia Laskey began her bluebird nesting box program in 1936. Bluebird populations have been tracked in the Parks ever since, making it one of the oldest nesting box programs in the world. Currently, Park staff and volunteers conduct extensive banding and bird counts, and take part in Project FeederWatch, a survey of winter bird populations across North America conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. Friends of Warner Parks is committed to funding these important Metro Park programs, which contribute to national ornithological records and enrich the lives of people (and birds) who live right here in Middle Tennessee. Click here or contact the Nature Center at 615.352.6299 to learn more about the BIRD program. Click here to make a $10 Chirp and support Bird Conservation. Special Work, Education and Trails (S.W.E.A.T.) Young adults trade sweat equity for environmental education in this summer program. SWEAT members make improvements to the Warner Parks’ hiking trails, organic gardens, landscaping and facilities. In return, they gain valuable knowledge and experience in organic gardening methods, trail maintenance techniques, use of landscaping tools, natural history of native plants and animals, impact of invasive species, and natural area management. SWEAT is made possible through the generosity of Friends of Warner Parks members and donors, REI, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and the Louie M. and Betty M. Phillips Foundation. Camp Warner Park Camp Warner Park is a summer enrichment program that helps to bridge the summer learning gap by engaging children in outdoor play and informal environmental education to raise awareness, foster respect and share enthusiasm for the natural environment. Campers will explore the park, play in the creek, and participate in environmental education at the Warner Parks Nature Center. All proceeds from camp are donated to Friends of Warner Parks to be reinvested back into the Parks! To sign up your child, visit CampWarnerPark.com. People Exploring Nature (P.E.N.) Pals More than three hundred 9, 10 and 11 year olds from Metro Nashville’s community centers participate in the PEN (People Exploring Nature) Pals program every summer. PEN Pal participants enjoy camp outs where they learn how to set up a tent, cook dinner over the campfire, catch crawdads in the creek, and enjoy a hayride. For many, it’s their first overnight experience in nature. Friends has sponsored PEN Pals since 1988. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Joyce Foundation and Suntrust Bank. Click here for the 2016 PEN Pal’s video. Nashville Hiking Meet-up Although not a Friends of Warner Parks program, Nashville Hiking Meetup is one of FOWP’s many community partners. They are an outdoor adventure and eco-volunteer club that plans hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling, and biking events throughout the year ranging from easy to strenuous, local to regional. The aim of the group is to explore the natural beauty of Tennessee and beyond and to develop a social network for people with like interests. BLUE MOON HIKE ON JULY 31, 2015 In addition to regular hikes and other outdoor adventures, Nashville Hiking Meet-up also plans social events and organizes community volunteer projects such as park cleanup and trail building.