Helping Wildlife Find New Homes

Helping Wildlife Find New Homes

| By: Britten, Casey

IN PHOTO: Natural Resources student Alex Knuth inspects his class’ recently-installed wood duck house at Winagamie Golf Course.

Students in the Natural Resources program installed 12 custom-made birdhouses at Winagamie Golf Course. The outdoor learning experience was part of the program’s Recreation Facilities Maintenance class.

In addition to applying skills in environmental education and forest recreation, the students and their project are contributing toward the non-profit golf course’s pursuit of certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf. The award-winning program assists golf courses in protecting its environment while preserving the natural heritage of the game of golf.

The project consisted of the implementation of four wood duck, bluebird, and bat houses. The bluebird houses are located along tree line areas adjacent to newly-planted, larger wildflower fields, while the wood duck dwellings take refuge in ponds and streams. The bat houses were positioned about 20 feet above ground on sugar maple trees around some of the inner golf holes and trails.

Fine detail went into the construction of each birdhouse, including elements to detract predators, location considerations for protein, food, and exposure, along with modifications that foster comfort and tranquility for the birds. The benefits of the project consist primarily of insect reduction on both the course and nearby farms, enhanced wildlife and beauty, and the overall restoration of each species.

FVTC’s Natural Resources Technician program is the only one of its kind among the state’s technical colleges. According to the college’s most recent graduate employment report, the program experienced 100% employment for its graduates within six months of graduation based on the class of 2017.