Mountain Gorilla Night Nests in Iowa?

Yes, that’s right, gorilla night nests in Iowa. Believe it or not, children in the USA are learning from their teacher, Susie Garrison, that most evenings mountain gorillas make their beds on the forest floor with bamboo and other plant material found in their natural habitat – Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Due to the absence of bamboo and big green banana leaves in Des Moines, Iowa, rolled up newspaper serves just fine for this exercise. Susie gained new gorilla facts when she visited the Art of Conservation and trekked into the forest. After her African safari, she took gorilla conservation education to her summer school program and from the looks of it, her students had a good time.

Making gorilla night nest in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by Susan Garrison. 2010Photo by Susan Garrison. Crumpled newspaper replaces bamboo for Des Moines schoolchildren making a mountain gorilla night nest.

Building mountain gorilla night nests with visitor Susie Garrison from Iowa.  Art of Conservation 2010.Our Rwandan classroom during Susie’s visit.

Most of our students believed the mountain gorillas slept in trees every night. The activity of making their own nest hopefully reinforced the fact that most evenings gorillas make a bed on the forest floor.

Colored tissue paper mountain gorillas in USA.  Photo by Susan Garrison. 2010. Art of ConservationPhoto by Susan Garrison. Students work with colored tissue paper while creating a bipedal mountain gorilla.

An art activity followed our nest building, and so to did the kids in the United States. Applying colored tissue paper with glue on paper, kids create their own wild animal art.

Susie takes gorilla conservation education to the USA.  Art of Conservation 2010.  Rwanda.Rwandan kids thoroughly enjoyed having Susie with them in class.

Gorilla conservation is crossing oceans thanks to Susie!

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