Eagle Scout's bluebird project given a helping hand

NEIGHBORS

June 02, 2000|By Donna Abel | Donna Abel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IF YOU LOOK around the parks in Mount Airy, you will see numerous bluebird houses dotting the landscape.

The construction and placement of these wildlife refuges and nesting homes is due to Mount Airy resident Johnny Zuna. In 1997, Zuna decided to build 60 to 70 bluebird houses as his Eagle Scout project and place them in parks around the community.

Last year, Bill Becraft, a Mount Airy resident and member of the Audubon Society of Central Maryland, noticed some boxes were in disrepair and decided to start the Adopt-A-Bluebird Box program.

"It's a good way to get people involved in their community and to learn more about birds," said Becraft.

Volunteers were recruited to maintain the boxes and to monitor the bluebird trails. There are 13 volunteers who are responsible for five boxes each. Their duties include visiting the boxes every week, observing what is happening in each bluebird house and reporting the results.

This information includes identifying the type of bird using the box, noting the number of eggs that have been laid, and making sure that fledglings have left the nest safely.

According to Becraft, "There are a variety of volunteers who help out in this project. It's a great learning experience."

Becraft not only is the contact person for the Mount Airy Adopt-A-Bluebird Box project, but also serves as a local ambassador for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Birdhouse Network project, a citizen-targeted science program that collects and analyzes data about nest box birds from all over the North American continent.

Information about the Adopt-A-Bluebird Box project: Becraft, 410-795-65415or e-mail us013410@mindspring.com.

Food for America

The South Carroll FFA Chapter sponsored Food for America on May 26 at South Carroll High School's Technology Center. This event was organized by the Intro to Ag Science class, led by instructor Terri Adkins.

Food for America is a program designed to teach young children about agriculture and livestock. Nine stations were set up for about 45 children from the TLC Daycare Center in Taylorsville. The stations featured sheep and lambs, pigs, a dairy calf, rabbits and chicks.

One station contained books about agricultural products, plants and crops. Another station was set up to allow each child to plant a vegetable and take it home. Children also were given a "Farm Charm." Designed to be worn around the neck, each bag contained seeds, confetti animals and soil, and came with a card explaining the importance of each item.

Other activities included "bunny hopping," finger play, coloring sheets, puppets and plate decorating. According to Anne Marie Histon, a member of the South Carroll FFA, this event was "a wonderful opportunity to teach children about animals and help them understand why agriculture is so vital."

"This is the second year we've done this, and it's a great way to reach out into the community, share our knowledge with the kids and let the community know that the FFA is an active group," she said.

Gold Star golf

The American Legion Gold Star Post 191 in Mount Airy will sponsor its annual Gold Star Golf Tournament beginning at 8:30 a.m. June 23 at Glade Valley Country Club in Walkersville. Tee time for the "4 Man Scramble" format is at 9 a.m., and the deadline for sign-up is June 9.

Hole sponsorships are available, and female golfers are encouraged to participate in the event. The cost is $65 per person and includes green fees, a golf cart, beverages on the course and prizes. An All-You-Can-Eat chicken buffet and open bar is included in the price and will take place after the tournament at the Legion Post at 801 Prospect Road.

Net proceeds will benefit Gold Star Post 191 projects and events. Registration or information: Tim Moxley, 301-253-6281or Mike Monard, 301-972-3884.

Donna Abel's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of the Sun.

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