Weers makes and donates birdhouses to Conservation

Grayson Weers, 14, of Anamosa, made and donated nine different birdhouses to Jones County Conservation. Weers spends a lot of time outdoors and at Central Park. He’s been volunteering for Conservation the past two summers. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     A love of woodworking and the outdoors prompted 14-year-old Grayson Weers of Anamosa to make and donate a total of nine birdhouses to Jones County Conservation.

     Weers handmade five bluebird houses, two screech owl houses, and two kestrel boxes all for use at various Conservation areas throughout the county.

     Weers corresponded with Conservation Naturalist Michele Olson regarding the specific types of birdhouses Conservation was in need of.

     “I like woodworking and volunteering at Central Park,” Weers said of his ongoing relationship with Conservation.

     “Grayson has been a wonderful youth volunteer,” praised Olson.

     One of the many projects Weers has helped with is maintaining and monitoring Bluebird Trail and the purple martin colony, both at Central Park. Weers said his bluebird houses will be spaced out along Bluebird Trail.

     Weers made all of the birdhouses several weeks ago and delivered them to Central Park.

     “I built them all in one day,” he said of his home project. “Michele (Olson) was surprised how easy they were to build.”

     Weers has experimented building birdhouses for the past couple of years, thanks to a book he has that lays out construction plans for all sorts of birdhouses, large and small. He got introduced to the idea after volunteering as part of the Youth Conservation Crew.

     “I offered to build some (birdhouses), and asked Michele which ones they would like,” offered Weers. “I thought it was worthwhile to do for Central Park.”

     Weers said Conservation was in need of some additional birdhouses, such as for bluebirds, the screech owl and kestrel houses were new additions.

     Weers used his own money to purchase the lumber locally to build the houses. He figured he spent about $100.

     Aside from this recent project, Weers has also been a part of the Conservation Crew for the last two summers. Those 12-19 years of age can volunteer with Conservation throughout the month of June taking part in outdoor leadership projects. Those include trail maintenance, birdhouse monitoring, park cleanup, garden care, and so much more.

     You can sign up by May 31 if interested by contacting Olson at Central Park at 319-481-7987.

     “It’s a nice way to get out doing something during the summer and helping to contribute toward Conservation,” Weers said of why he got involved in the Conservation Crew.

     “Our youth volunteers serve and learn together as they provide visible examples to all. No matter your age, your volunteer service is valued and important. Every volunteer makes a difference,” said Olson.

     Some specific jobs he took on as part of the Crew included planting milkweed for the monarch butterflies and assisting in getting rid of invasive (unwanted) plants.

     His work with the bluebird trail and purple martins entails checking the nests and monitoring the eggs until they’ve hatched.

     “That job starts in the spring and ends in the fall,” Weers said of the timeframe it takes, typically May through August.

     Weers enjoys spending a lot of his free time at Central Park to fish and walk the nature trails.

     “I spend quite a bit of time out there,” he said.

     Olson said not only has Grayson given of his time, but his brother Tristan, too.

     “They’ve volunteered for multiple years,” she said.

     Weers’ woodworking skills come in handy, as his parents, Heather and Nic Weers, lead the efforts for the Jones County Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) chapter. He also made a desk and cedar chest for his bedroom.

     Weers is a freshman at Anamosa High School.


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