Rest in Peace, Dear Lion

 

Many wildlife species have been traveling on the same routes for thousands of years–as is determined by the shape of the land and the distance between food, water, and shelter sources. They did not evolve for hollow rocks that whiz across the land at 65 mph and come equipped with eyes that glow so bright at night that you can’t look away. This is why you see so many of them dead along our highways. Our roads dissect and fragment their routes, their food and water sources, their homeland. Our cars kill them–and sometimes we are injured or die as a result of the collision, as well. As our population continues to grow at an unbelievable pace, more of their habitat (homeland) is cut up into smaller and smaller chunks. We sprawl, they diminish. It doesn’t have to go like this. As the most intelligent animal that the Earth has known–and the apparent manager of all other Earthly beings-we can give them more dignity and compassion by building wildlife overpasses and underpasses, protecting and restoring their habitat, inviting some of them to coexist with us in our towns, yards, parks, and just by being curious about their lives, their roles in nature, and their individual “personalities.” (Yes, tell me your pet does not have its own personality, wild animals may as well. If “personalities” is too much for you, substitute it with “way of being.”) If observed carefully, you may notice that individual animals have characteristics that make them a little different than their litter mates, flock, etc. They are not organic bags of blood, fur, feather, and claws without conscious. Watch them, and let me know if you notice something. You can start helping wildlife right now by going outside and watching them (we care more about what we understand), look for their signs (tracks, poop, nests, feeding habits), by planting plants that are native to your region, and by joining groups like the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). NWF is working to help us coexist with wildlife. If you’re in California, check out National Wildlife Federation California RIP P23 (Puma 23) Check out full article about P23’s death here: 

 

Your BioBlitz Dance Invitation

Greetings from John Griffith, creator of the BioBlitz Dance.  This is your official invitation to be a part of the BioBlitz Dance Movement! The BioBlitz Dance is a celebration of the outdoors, diversity within the conservation movement, and the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service. There have been over 60 BioBlitz Dance videos from various groups posted on YouTube and/or Facebook.  The number is expected to grow exponentially by this summer.

The BioBlitz Dance was created after my California Conservation Corps (CCC) crew and I were invited by Outdoor Afro’s founder and CEO, Rue Mapp, to participate in National Geographic’s 2014 BioBlitz Event at the Golden Gate National Parks. We made the first BioBlitz Dance video for the event and were amazed that it received over 30,000 views. The dance has spread quickly with BioBlitz Dances coming from all corners of the USA, New Zealand, Kenya, Nigeria, and Romania. To learn more about the dance’s history, please check out the link “BioBlitz Dance’s Creation Story” below.

 

The BioBlitz Dance has some guidelines that you should learn about before checking out the tutorial video:

  • The BioBlitz Dance must be done outdoors. You are welcome to practice it indoors, but when you are ready to record it, it must happen outside.
  • Upload the video of your BioBlitz Dance to YouTube and include the words, “BioBlitz Dance” somewhere in your title. Example: Malheur Refuge Liberation BioBlitz Dance.
  • More than ever we need a unifying message and celebration of public lands. That’s why we strongly encourage everyone to stick with the original three core moves of the BioBlitz Dance. Again, you must include the three core moves, or it’s not the BioBlitz Dance. The moves: Black Bear, Turkey Vulture, and Ground Squirrel can be renamed to reflect animals in your park if you’re interested in using the dance as an interpretive tool. However, please do not change the moves. The moves are what identify it as the BioBlitz Dance and connect all of us who celebrate the outdoors, diversity within the conservation movement, and public lands no matter where we are.
  • The fourth move of the BioBlitz Dance is designated as a freestyle, where each individual dancer can bust their signature moves. In addition, this is also an opportunity for your group to create your own unique fourth move. For example, Shepherdstown Elementary School created a ‘Brook Trout Dance’ as their fourth move to reflect an animal they had studied recently. Your fourth BioBlitz Dance move could be another popular dance like the Twist, the Quan, or the Nae Nae like the group Keeping It Wild did to great effect.  (see link below).

If you are in California and would like to take some BioBlitz Dance lessons, my corps members and I will be doing two BioBlitz Dance Workshops this year (with more in the works but yet to be scheduled). The first is at The BLM Youth Summit on Feb 19th on the Sacramento University campus. The second is at the National Association of Interpretation Conference on the Humboldt State University campus on April 3rd.

Please share this with anyone who may be interested. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Don’t miss the links below.

Thanks for being a person who is interested in celebrating the outdoors with a dance!

Kind regards:

John Griffith

BioBlitz Dance 2016 Update: 

National Geographic blog on the BioBlitz Dance: 

BioBlitz Dance tutorial:

BioBlitz Dance Creation Story: 

BioBlitz Dance Playlist: 

Two examples of great fourth moves:

Shepherdstown Elementary School’s BioBlitz Dance:

Keeping It Wild: 

John Griffith’s YouTube Channel: 

BLM Youth Summit: 

NAI Region 9 Workshop: