Columbus Botanical Garden Hosting the Sam Pate Naturalist Symposium March 14th-15th

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Friday, February 14th, 2020

March 14, 2020 - Saturday SAMposium: The Sam Pate Naturalist Symposium - $75 Non-CBG Members, $65 CBG Members, Students, Military

March 15, 2020 - Sunday SAMposium for Kids! - $12 per person, 3 and under free

March 15, 2020 - Sunday, 7:00 am Birdwatching tour with David Sibley at W.C. Bradley Farms - RAFFLE 6 spots - only 310 tickets sold - deatils below!

March 14, 2020 - Saturday Description and Schedule:

Bird fever is something that we plan to embrace and promote during our upcoming two-day Sam Pate Naturalist Symposium at the Columbus Botanical Garden. Named in memory of a local and regional birding luminary and nature-lover extraordinaire, this inaugural festival for Sam Pate will feature both a day of family activities aimed at introducing children and parents to the wonderful world of birds, as well as a day of lectures on all-things ornithological.

This series of speeches, emceed by WC Bradley Farms Wildlife Biologist Ashley Turner, will feature our Director, Stefan Bloodworth as well as Sam’s former students from Brookstone School Ryan Chitwood, Andrew Dreelin, and Chris McClure. The day will be capped off by a keynote speech from a rock star in the world of birding, David Allen Sibley.

Mr. Sibley is the author and illustrator of the series of successful guides to nature that bear his name, including the New York Times best seller The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed art and articles to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and wrote and illustrated a syndicated column for The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding Association and the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

We hope you will join us for this special event. We live in a part of the world that is home to many unique habitats, and these natural spaces play host to a spectacular diversity of bird species throughout the year. Use this chance to celebrate that heritage, to learn, and to honor the memory of a man who devoted his life to fostering a deep relationship with the wild world around us in all those whose lives he touched.

Please note - If Sam Pate touched your life and you would like to see SAMposium continue annually, please donate to our SAMposium Fund. This fund will be strictly used to secure future speakers and cover the expenses of the festival. Donation and ticket links are included in the link below.

Schedule of Events:

8:30 - 9:00 Check-in, donuts and coffee

9:00 - 9:30 Stefan Bloodworth, Executive Director of the Columbus Botanical Garden

Topic - Birds in the Landscape

9:45 -10:45 Andrew Dreelin, Bachelors of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

Topic - Conservation in the Digital Age: How Technology Empowers Communities to Protect Birds

11:00 - 12:00 Ryan Chitwood, Masters in Ornithology at University of Georgia

Topic: A Bird's Eye View of Climate Change

12:00 - 1:30 Lunch - optional onsite food trucks or off-site, as you desire

1:30 - 2:30 Chris McClure, Director of Global Conservation Science for the Peregrine Fund

Topic: The State of the World's Raptors

2:45 - 3:45: David Sibley, Author and illustrator

Topic: The Art of Identification

3:45-4:15: Questions and Answer with David Sibley

4:15-5:00: Book signing with David Sibley

March 15, 2020 - Sunday - SAMposium for Kids

2:00 - 5:00 pm - $12 - kids under 3 free

SIX interactive stations are set-up throughout the Garden. Kids can engage with nature, observe live raptors, color and create while learning about birds. You and your children can move from station to station and enjoy the offerings at your leisure. Some stations will have start times, but you are free to come and go as you please.

Stations include:

1. Raptor Ramble - 2:00-2:50; 3:00-3:50; 4:00-4:50: Meet raptors up close and personal and learn about Auburn University's Raptor Rescue Program.

2. Bird Mobile Station - 2:00-2:45; 3:00-3:45; 4:00-4:45: Come to our mobile making class and create a bird mobile with elements of nature. Supplies included.

3. Create your own Sibley Bird Watching Field Guide - 2:00-5:00: There will be bird watching guides supplied for children to color. This guide will serve as the Field Guide Book for the "Going on a Bird Watch" portion of the kid's programming.

4. Going on a Bird Watch - Begins at 3:00 and tours every 15 minutes thereafter: After creating your bird watching guide, come to the Camellia Garden for a guided bird watching trail walk where you will match the birds in your new guide with birds hidden in the forest.

5. Bird Books, Birthday Cake and Story Time - 2:00-5:00: It's a party on the patio with guest actor's reading a collection of children's stories. There will also be birthday cake to celebrate Mr. Sam Pate's birthday week. Children's books about birds and nature will also be for sale.

6. Mr. Sam Pate's Classroom - 2:00-5:00: Experience Mr. Pate's exotic classroom recreated inside the Farmhouse. You will find birds' nests, stuffed critters, reptiles, bugs, and more. Curated by Mrs. Nan Pate with input from Mr. Sam Pate's former students.

A wonderful outdoor adventure fun for the whole family.

RAFFLE- Guided bird watching tour with David Sibley only. Sunday, March 15, 7:00am at W.C. Bradley Farms.

RAFFLING off SIX spots - only 310 tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. Winners announced on Sunday, March 8th.

PLEASE NOTE: This particular birdwatching experience is geared towards adult audiences. Please only folks 16+.


Nestled south of Columbus, along the Chattahoochee and adjacent to the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, the W.C. Bradley Farms have a great variety of habitats available to explore. The Farms have been a division of the W.C. Bradley Company for over 100 years, and it has been a haven for hunting as well as enjoying the quietude of great outdoors.

The property encompass timberland, including longleaf pine acreage, farmland, both conventional and certified organic, and a variety of scenery: woods, ponds, fields, and a bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee.  Conservation programs include the Chattahoochee Valley Land Trust's largest Conservation Easement, the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), Longleaf plantings protected by the USFWS, and a significant certified organic project.

Winners to be announced on Sunday, March 8 via live Instagra and FB story! Winners will also recieve an email.

Arrive at W.C. Bradley Farms at 7:00 am with all you need for birding and a packed lunch. Breakfast snacks and coffee provided.

REMINDER: All proceeds from this special evening and bird watching experience with David Sibley will go towards the SAMPOSIUM Fund. A dedicated fund to ensure the this naturalist symposium will continue annually and offer esteemed speakers.

Tickets here