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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

First Youngster Wins L.L. Bean Heroes Award

Dec 19, 2010 09:43PM

Alexander (Alex) Burdo

First Youngster Wins L.L. Bean Heroes Award

Alexander (Alex) Burdo, a 13-year-old resident of Fairfield, avid birder and volunteer with Connecticut Audubon Society, has been named an L.L. Bean "Outdoor Hero." Alex is the first youngster to win the Award, introduced in 2007 and given each year to a select number of individuals who are helping to preserve outdoor spaces and activities for all to enjoy and encouraging others to do so as well. "This year we received well over 100 nominations," said L.L. Bean’s Barbara Noe. "And one name rose to the top of the list: Alexander Burdo." Alex was presented with an engraved lantern, a $500 L.L. Bean gift card and a $5,000 check made out to Connecticut Audubon Society in his honor. J.P. Fischer of L.L. Bean said, "Alex is a perfect example for other students and novices of how citizen science can be accomplished by anyone of any age. At the age of 10, Alex had a 3rd grade project about birds. He brought in field guides and binoculars to help his classmates learn about the birds around them. When Alex's school, Unquowa, set up the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Project Feeder Watch, Alex served as a consultant to the project, designing posters, creating the calendar, posting pictures, tallying data, mentoring children, writing a blog.” Alex, who has been birding since the age of six, drives all over the country with his grandfather Jim Orrico to go birding, but considers Connecticut Audubon Society's 6-acre Birdcraft Sanctuary as his favorite sanctuary.