Partnering up for conservation

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Riley Lawton passes birdhouses to Mike Shore of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority last week. Shore picked up a load of birdhouses created by the Chatham-Kent Secondary School Environmental Club as part of a joint project between the club and the authority.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Some 60 new birdhouses are in the wings for Chatham-Kent’s feathered friends.

That’s how many nesting boxes members of the Chatham-Kent Secondary School Environmental Club built over the winter.

The collaborative effort saw the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority supply the raw materials, with eager students donating their time to help boost migratory bird populations.

According to teacher Gord Williams, who co-ordinates the club with teacher Meredith Grainger, it’s the fifth year the club has partnered with the LCTVA on the birdhouse build.

Now, after a two-year hiatus, the project is back on track.

Williams said, the conservation authority buys the wood and then gives the club its wish list. This year the list included 10 large wood duck boxes and 50 bluebird houses.

“They buy the material and we build what they want,” Williams said, noting students can make two houses each – one to take home and one to donate.

Plans are in the works to distribute the boxes to all corners of the municipality.

“We’ll be putting them all around,” said LTVCA lands technician Mike Shore, as he loaded up the houses. “It could be in our wetlands, or anywhere in Chatham-Kent where we encourage migrating bird habitat.”

The birdhouse project isn’t the only thing the 25-member environment club has in store.

Williams said a hike to Clear Creek is planned, as well as a shoreline clean up along the Thames River.

The Chatham-Kent Secondary School Environmental Club recently completed a winter project to build birdhouses for the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. The LTVCA provided the materials and students undertook the construction.

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