• Students team up with volunteers to make nesting boxes donated by the state Game Commission


    For about 20 years, Matt Burrows has brought a project to his class that has the potential to positively affect the habitat of bluebirds, while allowing students to get hands-on experience with making something using tools such as a hammer, nails, drill and screws.

    The activity May 3 was no different.

    Fourth-grade students in Burrows and fellow fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Mason’s classes at Marion-Walker Elementary School paired up with community and family volunteers who helped build bluebird nesting boxes. The kits were donated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

    “They make a huge difference,” Burrows said.

    He found inspiration to annually bring the project to his class after seeing his brother Wesley Burrows, a former teacher at Liberty-Curtin Elementary School, participate in it with his class. Matt Burrows then picked it up when he began teaching at Benner Elementary School and brought it with him when he transferred to Marion-Walker.

    Once completed, students were encouraged to place the nesting boxes outside at their home. If that wasn’t possible, they were encouraged to take it to a neighbor or friend who could use it. Nesting boxes provide birds with a safe and secure location to lay eggs.

    The state Game Commission suggests not painting the box. If an individual wants to make it unique, then the state Game Commission suggests painting it in light colors that doesn’t absorb the heat as much as dark colors. It’s also suggested to place the nesting box facing south to limit it from weather impacts.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD