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“ I am willing to help, and I want to make a
difference for those birds. I want to be their voice.”
In 2011, I met an incredible conservationist at a Creatives Convention in Minneapolis. Even all those years ago, Olivia Bouler’s spirit and fierce determination simply captured my heart.
When I met her, she had just released her first book! To publish as a tween is amazing and the story behind her journey is even more touching. It’s an incredible book about one eleven-year-old girl who wanted to make a difference.
By Olivia Bouler
Save the Gulf Birds: About The Book
Written in her own words and illustrated with her own palette of colors (YES…she’s an artist too!), Olivia wrote a book about what she loves most, …..birds. A wonderful and informative field guide featuring 50 beautifully hand-drawn birds. This picture/book, field guide is different from anything you’ve ever read. It’s a celebration of her brave efforts to save those birds horribly affected by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Save the Gulf Birds: About The Author
Back in the early 2000s, Olivia lives on Long Island with her parents and brother Jackson, she spends most summers of her life down on the gulf with her cousins and grandparents. When she saw the devastation of the oil spill, she “just sat down and sobbed,” and then she picked herself up and knew she could make a difference.
She ran right upstairs and wrote a letter to the Audubon Society. She told them that she was willing to help and wanted to make a difference for those birds. Audubon said,”They’d be happy to accept her help.” Olivia was happy that she had taken that very first step in helping the birds of the Gulf Coast.
Save the Gulf Birds: Fundraiser Extraordinaire:
So how does one pre-teen girl single-handedly raise 200,000 dollars to save an entire region?
She organized a fundraiser called Save The Gulf. For her fundraiser, Olivia created and donated 500 original watercolor illustrations, many of which are showcased in her book, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf. Knowing that her passion is a love of birds and that she drew them often, she decided that for each person who would give a donation to her fund, she would in return paint them a bird. Back in 2011, she had made over 500 paintings of 120 different birds…I can only imagine the mind-blowing number of paintings that she’s done as on today.
“My whole life has been connected to nature, and this is the only Earth we’ve got. We can’t move to another planet, so we have to try to fix Earth. We only have one chance to do it.”-Olivia
Olivia is also aware that just one person can’t change the current state of our planet. One person can make a difference but it takes many of us to make a permanent change.
Save the Gulf Birds: Somethings We Can Do:
Here are a few things Olivia asks us to do:
- Build a bird feeder.
- Put out unprocessed birdseed or sunflower seeds in your yard to feed the birds.
- Set up a recycling group in your school or house.
- Cut down on paper consumption.
- Recycle EVERY DAY.
- Compost egg shells, banana peels, orange peels, and other food garbage. It will turn into dirt that you can use to plant trees. Here are some wonderful books for kids on the art of composting.
Make sure that you’re always telling your family and friends what you’re doing to save the planet and encourage them to do the same. Everyone’s efforts are important.
How are you inspired to save the planet? What things are you doing to make the world a better place?
Here are some links to some important earth protection organizations:
- National Audubon Society
- National Wildlife Federation
- The Nature Conservancy
- Sierra Club
- Olivia’s Paintings
**some of these links are affiliate links
Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the books, Dragon Are Real! A Year in the Secret Garden, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and when she isn’t jumping into a book and creating wildly inventive adventures, she is “mom” to three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, proud owner of one adored cat, and the Fox Whisperer to lots and lots of Foxes (that come and go as they please). You can also find Valarie on Facebook or on Twitter at @JumpIntoaBook1.