By Sarah Wibell
Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County’s Project Bluebird has fully fledged with over 200 birdhouses expected to be sold and auctioned off at MadisonFest on April 27. Project Bluebird is a fundraiser in which students and members of the community can build and donate various types of birdhouses, birdfeeders, or birdbaths to Habitat. Proceeds from all of the items will fund the 2019 Habitat build.
“The homes we’re making to help the birds will help the recipient of the next Habitat home,” stated Lori Williams, a volunteer on Project Bluebird’s fundraising committee. “People who have seen the donated birdhouses have been very excited, really so impressed with the talent we have in our town. We are so grateful people have put in their time and effort for Habitat for Humanity to help us with this very important fundraiser.”
Creative birdhouses have been constructed using gourds, ceramic pottery, all-natural materials, a kerosene lamp, a craftsman saw, a 1963 Georgia license plate, and more. One University of Georgia-themed birdhouse is autographed by Rennie Curran, former UGA linebacker and professional football player.
Anyone wanting to contribute a birdhouse can get more information on how to register through Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County’s Facebook page. Constructed bird houses, feeders, and baths can be dropped off at the Wellington Center, located at 1140 Monticello Road, Madison, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The last date for drop-offs is April 15.
Williams stated, “It’s anything you can come up with. Decorative or functional. Indoor or outdoor.”
People who want to buy a ready-made birdhouse can look forward to plenty of options available at MadisonFest. Some of the birdhouses being made for Project Bluebird are designed exclusively for bluebirds while others are not. When trying to attract any specific type of bird to a location, information on house design, what colors will attract them, location, direction – for instance, bluebirds prefer the entrances of their houses to face east – should be noted. However, all of the birdhouses for Project Bluebird are for a good cause. There will even be a few bat houses and duck houses.
The birdhouse build challenge has been taken up by Morgan County schools from the primary to the high school level as well as students from the Crossroads School. Around 50 bird, bat, and wood duck houses have been made by the students across all grade levels with a total of approximately 130 planned. Wood and materials for the project was donated to Habitat, which was then given to the schools to use.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Coordinator Ashley Potter recalled that when she approached Morgan County teachers about collaborating with Project Bluebird, they were enthusiastic and wove it into their classes: “Teachers jumped in and said they would love to be involved in this with their students…We have life science standards that span all of the schools…it really is a boon for the life science standards.
“The schools decided what pieces and parts they’d be able to manage. The high school created kits for some of the schools. The elementary school worked on not only bluebird houses but also bat and wood duck houses. The middle school built some houses entirely on their own and some from a kit…You follow your plan, but sometimes you have to be flexible. So sometimes we moved things around; it was the greatest learning experience for our students.”
Some of the houses created through the schools are truly collaborative with the high school cutting boards, the middle school taking the cut wood pieces and putting them together, and the elementary school painting them. In other cases, the middle school both put the houses together and painted a base coat that the primary school could decorate.
Potter noted that lots of the students have enjoyed working with tools and color schemes, “They enjoy being part of something they got to network with other students on. The ability to help our community and animals – that’s a draw. And they were able to be hands on with the materials – that’s always a good time.” As for herself, she said, “It’s always so great to work with the board of Habitat and the different volunteers.”
MCHS’s audio-video department has also gotten involved, creating an animated video clip of bluebirds to promote the birdhouse build challenge that can be seen on Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County’s Facebook page.
A few of the donated birdhouses will be displayed prior to April 27 at the Madison Artists Guild and Madison Markets as a sneak-peak. Those items will be available to purchase at MadisonFest, not in the stores.
“It will be the largest, most intense, exciting birdhouse sale in the history of Madison!” Habitat committee members asserted. “It is a really fun project that everyone can participate in for an incredible cause.”
The next Habitat house is projected to be on Pearl Street. To volunteer on a build with Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County, call 706-431-6139.