Bird Watching

Interview with Urli – Black Forest Central/North Nature Park

Urli is a wood grouse and the mascot of the nature park kindergartens in the Black Forest Central/North Nature Park. Each hand puppet is felted by hand and is unique. Urli is three years old – that’s how long the nature park kindergartens have been in the middle/north Black Forest nature park. There are currently five nature park kindergartens in the backdrop: in Enzklösterle, Bühlertal, Karlsruhe-Durlach, Ebhausen and Baden-Baden-Ebersteinburg. This year there will be a few more. In an interview, Urli explains what his name means and what exactly he does in the kindergartens.

Urli, that’s a very special name. Who chose the name for you?

Urli: At the beginning there were four pilot kindergartens in the nature park. Their teachers and children made many suggestions for my name. In the end there was a vote and since then my name is Urli.

What does Urli actually mean?

Urli: As a characteristic bird of the Black Forest, I stand for many other animals as an endangered umbrella species. An Alemannic expression for the Urhahn is “Orlihaa”. In the end, my friendly and funny name Urli Auerhahn came from the combination of Urhahn and Orlihaa.

If a kindergarten becomes a nature park kindergarten, you move in there. Will you bring the children a present too?

Urli: Sure, of course. I bring my green discovery box to the children in kindergarten for the award ceremony. In it you will find many things that you can use in the nature park: for example magnifying glasses and binoculars to be able to observe everything very closely or exciting books on topics from the nature park. The various things help to sensitize the children to our nature and environment at an early age. They also invite you to participate, observe and look up. And above all to discover and look at the nature park world from very different perspectives.

What are you playing with the kids?

Urli: I am there for everything that the children experience and discover every day. We look at picture books about nature and culture together. The children read to their stuffed animals and to me too. When we go out into nature and the children discover something, they show it to me. Together we explore nature and animals in the region. We learn a lot of new things in the process. We are also interested in what traditions and customs we have. At the carnival party we dressed up and had a lot of fun.

(Photos: Nature Park)


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