Cambridge fourth-graders carry on tradition of building birdhouses

Alayna Szafranski, Kassidy Silvernale and Gracie Weibel  from Talia Wald’s fourth-grade class, worked on their birdhouse in the hallway. Lili Tohm and Mekenzye Sundt finished their birdhouse. Owen Roddy begins building his birdhouse while Lucas Frank looks on in Carrie Knutson’s classroom. Takarion Parr begins building his birdhouse in Carrie Knutson’s classroom. Breyza Zoerb, Cordelia Nims, Barbra Curtis, and Olivia Curtis assemble their birdhouse in Deb Cowing’s classroom. Fourth-graders from Cambridge Intermediate School learn how to build bluebird birdhouses during a demonstration by retired CIS teacher Tim Dummer and Jared Knutson on March 31.Photos by Noelle Olson
<
>
Fourth-graders from Cambridge Intermediate School learn how to build bluebird birdhouses during a demonstration by retired CIS teacher Tim Dummer and Jared Knutson on March 31.Photos by Noelle Olson

Article provided by Cambridge Intermediate School 

From the 1930s through 1960s, the Eastern bluebird, one of Minnesota’s most popular songbirds, was in great decline. The cause for the population drop was greatly due to habitat loss.

Thanks to the North America Bluebird Society and Minnesota Bluebird Recovery Organization, their story is one of success. Assisting in this process, for over 25 years, has been students from Cambridge-Isanti Schools, mostly from the intermediate school levels.

In the early 1990s, retired Cambridge-Isanti teacher Dennis Olson began this work in the schools. He partnered with the late Dave Alhgren, from Stillwater, who cut the wood for the nesting boxes. Also, Richard York, from the Twin Cities area, who presented information to the students about amazing Eastern bluebirds, and along with our students, began the tradition of building bluebird nesting boxes.

On March 31, Cambridge Intermediate School students, parents, grandparents and staff, got together to continue this work. With support of Jan Swanson, who now cuts the pieces for over 200 boxes annually, and the Isanti County Sportsman’s Club who has donated over $20,000 the past two decades, this project continues to thrive.

This year, Chris Miller, coordinator for Reach Out and Read, in connection with Adventure Publication, donated over 200 books to help support this cause. Additional thanks to Tim Dummer who has organized the project for many years, and Duane Bickford for his help the past two years. It has been an amazing adventure. To this date, C-l students have built over 4,000 nesting boxes.

On behalf of the staff and students at Cambridge Intermediate School, we want to thank everyone who has been a part of this wonderful experience. Welcome back, “Mr. Bluebird.”