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Faribault County 4-H Club receives DNR honor for creation of bluebird trail

4H Winners with DNR Commissioner Merriam The Barber Flyers 4-H Club of Faribault County was honored Aug. 29 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for its work on a bluebird trail on the new Charlotte Hyne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near the town of Delevan. DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam presented the 4-H Club with the DNR Commissioner’s Youth Award during a ceremony at the Minnesota State Fair.

The award is given annually to a 4-H member or club that has demonstrated initiative, leadership, creativity and achievement in the conservation and wise use of natural and agricultural resources.

The 4-H Club worked with DNR wildlife managers and nongame specialists to research and establish a bluebird trail for the new wildlife management area. Club members, along with the help of adult leaders, assembled and put up 10 bluebird nest boxes. Every week – March through August – 4-H Club members and their families alternated duties of checking and monitoring the birdhouses for bluebirds.

The nest boxes did not attract bluebirds the first year; it can take up to two years for bluebirds to occupy the houses, but leaders of the 19-member Barber Flyers 4-H Club said club members gained valuable experience working together and learned the importance of preserving wildlife habitat.

Commissioner Merriam said projects like these show the benefits of conservation and encourage further participation in protecting Minnesota’s natural resources.

“Sometimes it takes patience and perseverance when dealing with wildlife,” Merriam said, “but the more people we have out there working to preserve what we have, and restore what we’ve lost, will make our resources that much stronger.”

Members of the Barber Flyers 4-H Club plan to clean the nest boxes in the fall and start the process again next spring. The group will also put together an educational program to share with local service clubs and organizations to help increase and enhance bluebird habitat throughout Faribault County.




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