High quality binoculars are expensive for individuals to purchase, and yet are incredibly important gear for becoming literate about local wildlife. They allow close up observations of birds, turtles, and other wildlife. Best of all, binoculars can open up a new world after only about 10 minutes of instruction and practice. The binoculars we would like to purchase are high quality with good magnification and focus, and are suitable for adult adventurers, and are rugged enough for rough use and small enough for children's hands.
The idea is to have one set of binoculars that will be a shared resource for many people, thus putting them within reach of anyone on Cape Ann.
Our binoculars will be used by thousands of people, especially children, to develop their awareness of wildlife and naturalist skills. Most of these people will be residents of Cape Ann.
The main purpose will be to have a set of binoculars on hand at the Get Outside Center in Gloucester to loan out to our members. Members can check out the binoculars for up to two weeks at a time, along with any of the hundreds of field guides in our resource library. Teachers who are members will be able to check out the entire set of binoculars to use with their class. The staff and volunteers who check out gear also provide instruction in its use.
Our aim is to have a set of 24 binoculars that can be loaned out, and we will be applying to Toad Hall, the Dewing Foundation, Brookline Bird Club to raise the funds needed to complete our set.
The binoculars, when not checked out, will also be used on our classroom and field programs, which serve over 2000 kids each year. At present, a normal sized class has to take turns using our set of binoculars. Having enough for every child in a class will give them many more opportunities to observe and become connected to wildlife.
Update: We are projected to reach over 1500 students during this school year, plus at least another 500 during the summer.
Funded by Gloucester, MA (May 2017)