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CVH Foundation Bringing Lessons ‘From Our Sanctuary To Yours’



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There is much to explore in the world at this time of the year, and the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation (CVHF) has plans to help those reading its online newsletters focus on the “miraculous” through weekly lessons.

Jenny Hubbard, CVHF president and mother of the late Catherine Hubbard, whom the organization honors, said this week that if Catherine could have claimed a season as her own, it would have been spring.

“There is so much that I did with my kids in the backyard, and awesome adventures that I think we sometimes miss because we are so busy,” Hubbard said in a phone interview.

The CVHF released an online lesson through its newsletter on March 23 announcing, “In this season of change, it’s more important than ever to focus on the miraculous. Italy’s Venice canals are free of garbage and debris, revealing crystal clear water; the birds have returned to Wuhan, sharing long forgotten songs; families explore hiking trails; children pull old bikes from garages; and pets relish in all the attention they’re getting at home... Each week, we’ll be bringing a new theme straight to your inbox to help you and yours celebrate the miraculous,” the newsletter read in part.

The March 23 “Backyard Exploration” lesson was the first released by the CVHF, and there are more to come.

The lessons are for “all ages,” Hubbard shared.

“My hope was that it would give an opportunity for anybody that was coming alongside us to experience the world right around them. We really focused on ‘explore your backyard,’” Hubbard said.

The lesson included a video of Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary (CVHAS) educator Henryk Teraszkiewicz. In the video he held up an example of red maple buds to demonstrate one way people can explore their own backyards using “one of the most wonderful tools that modern technology has afforded us,” he said of the iNaturalist app, which allows users to upload photos of plants and insects and helps identify the photo’s subject with a social network of naturalists and experts. iNaturalist also has another app called Seek, which Teraszkiewicz said is designed for “the kids” as it does not gather personal information.

“The Seek app allows you to just look at things [using a device with a camera] and with [augmented reality] technology it will take what it sees and give you an instant identification of what you are seeing,” Teraszkiewicz said in the video while holding up a tablet to take an image of a plant.

“Get involved, get out, let us know what you found in your backyard,” said Teraszkiewicz in the video.

The March 23 newsletter also included another video of Teraszkiewicz sharing a “maple blossom mystery” and in it he reminded viewers that everyone is welcome to “take a hike, a socially responsibly distant hike, of course.” It also included a video of how to make a DIY kite.

Hubbard said her hope for the first week of the CVHF lessons was for people to have an “awesome adventure” in their “own unique backyard.” The “story of COVID-19,” she added, is not one of disappointment and desperation but one of settling into the beauty “around us.”

The newsletters featuring the lessons will be released weekly on Mondays. People can sign up for them on the foundation’s website, cvhfoundation.org, by scrolling to the bottom of the page to fill out the “Subscribe to Our Latest News” section. Hubbard said they will also be posted on the CHVF website.

Each week the newsletter lessons will have a different theme with Teraszkiewicz teaching virtually, according to Hubbard.

“The classroom is coming home,” she added.

After “coming into 2020 with a great stride,” Hubbard explained there was disappointment at canceling CVHF events until that disappointment was transformed into the realization that this time of change may give a glimpse at the future possibilities of CVHF programming.

Hubbard said the plans for the newsletter lessons include ways people can support animals, ways people can support the environment, and “thoughts to ponder.” The lessons may also feature “guest visitors.”

The second newsletter lesson was released on March 30 and it was called “Pasture Animals Wild & Wooly.” A video lesson from Teraszkiewicz featured him focusing on stonewalls and the ecosystems they create. Another video lesson in the newsletter had Teraszkiewicz share information about “some of the smaller things that may go unnoticed” using a macro-lens to show the “tiny stuff everywhere.” It also had a video featuring a veterinarian talking about dog breeds and a video sharing how to make DIY “bird nesting hangers.”

Both the March 23 and March 30 newsletters began with the words “From our sanctuary to yours.”

The third newsletter, set to be released on April 6, will be themed as “Water, Water, Everywhere,” according to Hubbard.

“We’re going to encourage everybody to get out and get in the mud,” Hubbard said, adding that the weekly lesson will feature Teraszkiewicz exploring muck.

“It’s going to be a great one... April showers really do bring May flowers, and our hope is to focus on April showers.”

In other CVHF news, Hubbard shared that the sanctuary is expanding its Senior Paw Project to help serve and provide senior citizens with pet food, regardless of income, by working with local authorities to deliver the pet food to seniors who are home-bound with the pets. Seniors in need of pet food assistance can contact CVHF by e-mail at info@cvhfoundation.org or by calling 866-620-8640.

Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary (CHAS) educator Henryk Teraszkiewicz uses the iNaturalist app in a recent video lesson shared by the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation (CVHF) in a March 23 newsletter.
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