Take a walk around to the west of the Dining Hall or along the perimeter of campus, and you’ll find a series of houses, birdhouses, that is, and some with evidence of inhabitants. All of the birdhouses on CA’s campus were made with the help of students.
A few years ago, former Middle School teacher David Wadsworth ran a service-learning project in which students helped him build and mount the birdhouses. “My goal was partly bird houses,” says Wadsworth, “but also to get kids working with their hands.” Wadsworth credits the Operations Staff, Javier Borja Chavez, Lallo Herrera, and Director of Operations Jesse Schumacher.
“Many of the birdhouses definitely have inhabitants in them every year,” says Schumacher. Wadsworth agrees, and says at least 75% of the houses were inhabited; they were originally designed for bluebirds. A birdhouse attracts cavity-nesting birds, from bluebirds and chickadees to nuthatches, swallows, and woodpeckers.
Recently, Chris Roads’ Upper School advisory group took on renovation of the existing houses, and the construction of several new ones. “We repaired [the existing boxes] and built 8 new ones… They were stuffed with twigs and feathers. My advisees learned a lot, worked their tails off, and had a good time doing so,” he says.