Volunteerism helps strengthen and improve our community. It is always inspiring to see our youth carry on the tradition. Tanner Christensen, a local teen, spent much of the past year constructing several bird nesting boxes at Kaweah Oaks Preserve and Dry Creek Preserve. The nesting boxes beautify the preserve for hikers and passers-by while also improving wildlife habitat.
The nesting boxes will help increase habitat for local raptors and songbirds, including the kestrel, screech owl, and swallow. These birds not only improve the scenic value of our landscape; they help minimize pests. Kestrels and owls play a key role in reducing the rodent populations of ground squirrels and mice, while swallows are vital to controlling insect populations.
Christensen’s project was so successful that he was presented with the William T. Hornaday Award at his Eagle Scout ceremony in November. The Hornaday Award recognizes Scouts who have made “outstanding efforts in natural resource conservation and environmental protection.” Earning this award is no simple task: only 1,100 of them have been given in the past eighty years.
Written by Laura Childers, Environmental Education/Volunteer Director