Dragonfly Nature Programs is a small, locally owned business, out of Holly Springs, NC. As a community member and advocate for environmental stewardship, owner, Rachel Woods enjoys making time for projects that help both locally & globally. From turtle fostering with NC State, to community festivals & citizen science projects, Dragonfly keeps busy when not teaching nature studies. Review the projects we've been involved with so far & do not hesitate to ask Rachel how to get involved if you have questions.
What is Citizen Science?
Citizen Science Projects utilize the time, expertise and energy of the general public who volunteer to collect data for various projects, both locally and worldwide. Since Rachel took over ownership of Dragonfly in 2015, she has been actively involved in various projects. See below.
JCRA Pollinator Project
Over the summer 2017, Rachel volunteered for pollinator counts at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh to assist a graduate student's investigation. The study questioned whether native pollinators favored native plant species over the countless non-native varieties located around the grounds of the arboretum. Rachel and a small group of others sat out in the heat & sun on Saturday mornings to count the bees and beetles, butterflies and wasps. In exchange, Rachel met some really bright students, delightful volunteers and is getting much better at bee vs. fly vs. wasp identifications!
Great Backyard Bird Count 2017
February 2017: Rachel has definitely improved her birding skills over the past year! She was one of 210,000 participants worldwide in this year's GBBC. She saw many of the same species as last year but also a few new ones! Birds identified included a Gray Catbird & Red-Bellied Woodpecker & Downy Woodpecker by ear and a Hermit Thrush at one of the feeders. This year's favorite find was the Red-Winged Blackbird.
Great Backyard Bird Count 2016
February 2016: Data collected through the GBBC is shared online for scientists to monitor bird populations worldwide.
Here are 2016's results, taken from Rachel's backyard:
37 birds-10 different species including:
red bellied woodpecker, turkey vultures, mourning doves, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, red-breasted nuthatch, Eastern bluebird, dark eyed junco, white crowned sparrow, white throated sparrow, song sparrow, northern cardinal, house finch, pine siskin, American goldfinch. This year's favorite? The Eastern bluebird. So pretty!
eMammal Triangle Area Camera Trap Project Spring 2016
Rachel & her eldest son set up 2, 3-week camera trap deployments this spring. One in their backyard, the second in a friend's backyard which has a stream and more acreage. The camera takes pictures of anything that moves in front of it (including wind blown trees) and will continue to take multiple pictures to get some quick time information. They then uploaded all the images to the project data base (over 1000!) after identifying the animals in every picture. Now their data is part of the eMammal data base, tracking mammal populations around the world!
NCSU Turtle Rescue Team Foster Parenting
Since September of 2016, Rachel & her family has fostered 3 injured Eastern Box Turtles and released each one into the wild, healthier than when they first arrived! Each experience was unique, each memorable and each a blessing. All three turtles suffered from a broken shell from a collision with a car or lawn mower. Each had to rest up and heal before returning to the wild. As part of their care, they got exercise, fresh food and a daily bath. The boys were always happy to help. Each turtle had its own personality! The Blob was not a happy or calm turtle. She stayed for nearly 6 months over the winter. She hissed and hissed when handled. Haldir was a charmer! He put on a show when brought to classes. Tina Fey was probably Rachel's favorite and hardest to let go. She was just so sweet and GORGEOUS! All three turtles accompanied Rachel to classes where they served as an ambassador for not only box turtles but all reptiles. It was awesome to show kids how people are working to help these animals, but also help kids understand how we should treat wildlife in the first place so they don't get hurt at all.
The LongLeaf Pine Festival @ Harris Lake County Park
If you haven't been to this festival, consider it. Held in May each year, there are dozens and dozens of vendors, Dragonfly being just one. There is lots to see, learn, eat....it's just a great time. Dragonfly Nature Programs has participated for the last three years!
If you have a project you think Dragonfly Nature Programs could be a part of, contact Rachel through email or any of our social media accounts. Links for those accounts are below.