At the August 31 meeting of the Rotary Club of Jamestown, Rotarian Mark Baldwin, a longtime educator at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, spoke about Roger Tory Peterson and how various locations throughout Jamestown laid the foundation for Peterson's life's work as the most prominent American nature educator of the 20th Century and would have been 107 years old on August 28. His book, A Field Guide to Birds, was named one of the most influential books of the 20th Century because it forever changed the way we view nature and interact with the natural world. Peterson was a tireless advocate for nature and education about the natural world. Baldwin said several locations throughout Jamestown were important to Peterson's life, including his boyhood home at 16 Bowen Street and the old reservoir at the top of Swede Hill. It was there in April 1920 that Peterson had a life-changing encounter ... while with a friend, he spotted a mass of motionless brown feathers on the side of a tree. The boys were able to walk right up to this mysterious mass and Peterson was able to touch them before the feathers woke up and away flew a Northern Flicker woodpecker! At the 100 Acre Lot on Curtis Street, Peterson identified his first yellow warbler. He got special permission from Jamestown's police chief to stay out after curfew so he could catch moths at Lakeview Cemetery. He spent a week working at Dahlstrom's ... then got a job at Union National Furniture Company after a cousin showed a painting of his to the art director. All of these locations are local landmarks today and still play an important role in Jamestown life. Pictured above are, from left, Ardy Baldwin; her husband and Rotarian Mark Baldwin; Joni Blackman, Rotarian and executive director of the Fenton History Center; and Gary Padak, the vice president of the Rotary Club of Jamestown.
 
 
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