Boy Scout's Eagle project benefits The Botanic Garden at OSU
Visitors to The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University will soon have the opportunity to see even more birdlife, thanks to the efforts of a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout project.
Nick Nelsen, 16, recently built and installed 10 bluebird houses with his Scout troop at The Botanic Garden at OSU.
"I hope this will make for a better experience for visitors to the garden," said Nelsen, who is a member of Troop 802. "I'd been out here to the garden before and I hope this project is beneficial to the garden and its visitors."
Medhavi Ambardar, a Ph.D., zoology student at OSU, said Nelsen's project will be a big help in her research.
"We have a lot of eastern bluebirds here and I have nearly 200 bluebird houses in the Payne County area," Ambardar said. "I check the houses every day and my research deals with reproductive success, parental care and how well the baby birds grow."
Nelsen said he did a lot of research on bluebirds to learn what type of houses to build, the specifications of the houses and where to place them. Each of the 10 houses took about an hour to build, and to help ensure stability, the houses are both glued and nailed. He said the younger scouts in his troop also helped with construction, as well as installation.
Laura Payne, volunteer coordinator at The Botanic Garden at OSU, said Nelsen's project is a great way to tie the garden back to the community.
"We have thousands of visitors out here every year, and so we're looking at ways to provide new experiences for our visitors," Payne said. "People may think that The Botanic Garden is a place to just see a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs. These bluebird houses will help us provide more diversity in the wildlife found at the garden. It's one more way to connect the community to the garden."
Established as an arboretum in 1935, The Botanic Garden at OSU is an oasis of thousands of species of herbaceous and woody plants set on about 100 acres. The garden is home to many different research plots that reflect ongoing research projects by OSU professors, as well as housing a world renowned turf program. It also is home to the studio garden of the popular television show Oklahoma Gardening that airs weekly on OETA.