All-natural affair: Slopers celebrate planet with critters, street cleanup

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Sightseeing: Luca Tang and mom Alice checked out the view from the upper deck of the park’s Audubon Center while relaxing on a giant beanbag.
What a hoot: Bird handlers showed off a screech owl during the event.
Nice bird: Kids gawked at a red-tailed hawk, which are known to soar above the green space.
Family fun: Matthew and Alyson Vitticore brought their daughter Viola to the party for the planet, where the youngster practiced her angling skills.
Prettying the pavement: From left, tots Renate Sils, Sol Sidran, and Zelta Sils used chalk to draw colorful designs on a sidewalk near Park Slope’s Old Stone House museum.

These Brooklynites love their Mother!

Kids and kids at heart flocked to Prospect Park’s bird sanctuary on Sunday where they honored Mother Earth with the help of some feathered friends.

“We love the park and the Audubon Center as a family, because they’re a great way for our daughter to experience the outdoors,” said mom Alyson Vitticore, who brought her husband Matthew and tyke Viola to the annual Earth Day event in Brooklyn’s Backyard.

The park’s bird experts showed off several winged predators during the celebration, including a screech owl, a tiny American kestrel falcon, and a red-tailed hawk — all of which dazzled the nature-lovers in attendance, according to another dad.

“It was great to get up close and personal with the birds,” said Matthew Gelb, who came with his kids Beecher and Wyatt.

The festivities inside the green space also featured lessons for aspiring anglers, who learned how to safely bait a hook and cast a fishing line from state conservationists and employees of meadow caretaker the Prospect Park Alliance, Vitticore said.

“Viola learned out to put a worm on the hook, how to cast, and how to be safe with a fishing pole around lots of people, which is really important,” the mom said.

And a few blocks away in Park Slope, other environmentally minded locals honored the planet by joining members of the Park Slope Civic Council in a neighborhood cleanup, during which the do-gooders disposed of litter and decorated sidewalks with colorful chalk drawings.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:45 pm, July 9, 2018
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