OYBC members are proud of their work

The Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club recently completed their first service project: a bird-feeding station at Indianola K-8 School in Clintonville, a Columbus neighborhood.

Yikes! Look at all those parts! But Daniel, Doug, Ada, Clare, and Jacob are ready.This project is the first element of a planned “Outdoor Learning Lab” envisioned for the school grounds. Eventually, the feeding station will take its place among butterfly gardens and native plantings, a prairie area, an edibles garden, and composting and water reclamation areas. The school’s curricula will make outdoor education an integral part of each Indianola student’s experience. And now, with this feeding station, interacting with birds will also be part of that experience!

For weeks before the October 31st installation, OYBC students brainstormed about the feeding station. They, along with the adult advisors for the chapter, met with school representatives, performed a site survey, and submitted a proposed design sketch to school administrators. Donations of feeders, seed, suet, poles, baffles, and other hardware were gathered from generous friends and supporters of OYBC. Additional supplies were purchased with funds from an “Explore Fund” grant from North Face, which the chapter was awarded earlier in the month.

Central Ohio Chapter of Ohio Young Birders Club: Gerry Brevoort (advisor), Daniel, Doug, Susan Setterlin (advisor), Ada, Clare, Darlene Sillick (advisor) and Jacob. Missing from the photo are Tim Daniel (advisor) and Trinity.On a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon, five OYBC students, five fantastic OYBC parents, three folks from the school, two community members, and five OYBC advisors (including Ken Keffer from the statewide OYBC office) all met at the school to put the whole project together at last! Over the next several hours, students dug mulch pits for beneath the feeders, installed landscaping edging, assembled the feeding stations with power tools, hand tools & a bit of sweat, lifted everything into place, and filled the feeders. VoilĂ ! The front yard of the school was transformed into a smorgasbord for feathered friends!

Teacher Lisa Seiberling, who was there for the installation, was very impressed with the OYBC students. “This was so inspiring to watch!” she wrote in an email. “You are amazing to do that so quickly and so efficiently! Thanks so much. I can’t wait to see birds and for our students to find them to watch!”

Cindy Gunn, an Indianola School parent who is very involved in the Outdoor Learning Lab effort, put it this way: “The students involved with the OYBC are emerging scientists with a genuine interest in their natural surroundings. Two of the participants have tracked birds along (nearby) Walhalla Road and these birds will now visit the feeders at the school. Since the OYBC chose to install the feeders at Indianola, the teachers, students, parents and community will be able to see the birds that share their environment, up close. It has been about a week since the feeders have been installed and the birds are starting to find them. It is a great gift to the school and community.”

Parents Dan & Michele Cleary assist Ada & Clare with some power tools, while Indianola K-8 School teacher Lisa Seiberling looks on.The OYBC students themselves are pretty proud of their efforts. Chapter member Clare Jusdanis says it’s the greatest accomplishment she’s experienced in birding thus far. And the group looks forward to their next service project, yet to be planned.

Whatever the OYBC chapter decides to take on next, it’s guaranteed to be done with energy and a desire to share with the broader community their love of birds and the great outdoors. As Indianola parent Cindy Gunn put it: “These kids are the true story and the leaders of tomorrow. (Their work at Indianola will) demonstrate to students the importance of caring for the world around them. I am truly amazed with the work done, and the enthusiasm of the kids…Thank you for this wonderful gift!”

Check out the photo album for this project.