Operating on just a few hours of sleep after the all-night Relay for Life, I headed out to the Bigelow Township Hall Saturday for an afternoon of bluebird house building with several members of the Ocheda Beavers 4-H Club.
The pounding hammers kept me wide awake!
As an adult volunteer with the 4-H club, I had one concern about covering the event — I didn’t want to be seen as playing favorites in the newspaper. However, I think most of the county’s 4-H clubs know that if they’re doing something noteworthy for a Community Pride project, they can always reach me at the Daily Globe.
Saturday’s event was certainly noteworthy — a group of dedicated Pheasants Forever board members willing to donate the materials to construct birdhouses, and their time to help the 4-H youth build them. When about half a dozen of the birdhouses were completed, the guys from Pheasants Forever took us on a pick-up ride through three-foot-tall prairie grasses at a wildlife management area south of Worthington to put them up.
It was quite an adventure, and one I think the kids and I will remember for a long time.
At the first stop, Pheasants Forever board member Les Johnson helped 9-year-old Andy Lira use a power screwdriver for the first time as they attached a bluebird house to the top of a wooden post. O.D. Othow, Ahmitara Alwal and Erica and Alyssa Bousema — a couple of potentially future 4-H’ers — also tried their hand with the power tool.
Then, as we walked to the third post, a scream came from one of the girls in the group.
My first thought was … it’s a snake.
I was nearly ready to turn and walk quickly back to the safety of the pick-up when another kid yelled that it was a frog … just a frog … no big deal.
With heightened senses for creepy, crawly critters, I was thinking I probably shouldn’t have worn my Croc-like shoes. A snake could probably fit through one of the holes on the top or the side of my shoes and bite me!
During the adventure, we went to see some of the newly planted willow trees on the property, and could look across the grassland to where several rows of shrub-like tree varieties have been planted by the local Pheasants Forever chapter.
Having grown up just a couple of miles down the road from where the property is, I must say it’s nice to see some of the improvements being made to better the wildlife habitat in southern Nobles County. It seems that nearly every trip I make out to the farm includes a sighting of a pheasant or a deer.
I also want to thank the Pheasants Forever board members who volunteered their time on a Saturday afternoon to teach a group of young kids about nature. To Jim Mc Gowan for cutting all of the cedar lumber, to Dan Livdahl for teaching the kids how to use a hammer, and to John Moberg and Les Johnson for helping to get the houses built and erected on the property.
The club has spent the past year working with Dan, who is also the administrator of the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District, on another Community Pride project — water sampling. Last summer we took samples on Lake Ocheda, and this year we are taking samples on Lake Bella.
The project has taught the 4-H’ers, as well as the adults, a lot about the water quality of our rural lakes that surround the Ocheda Beavers club house. It has even given us a greater sense of pride in our communities … that’s what 4-H Community Pride is all about!