OXFORD — Eagle Scout Andrew Steeves, senior at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, volunteered to build and install 12 saw whet owl boxes at the Page Forest in Oxford this spring. The 653-acre forest is owned by the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF). The Western Foothills Land Trust (WFLT) holds a conservation easement on the property. 

 

After researching saw whet owls on the web, Cornell and National Audubon Society have great pages, as well as specifications for owl boxes, Andrew worked with both NEFF and WFLT to get permission for his project and to get forest cover and site maps. Each box was cut from one board. The 12 boards were donated by Parent Lumber. After the boxes were built, Andrew’s scout troop helped bring the boxes to the site and mount them at the proper height. 

 

Both the land trust and NEFF are thrilled to have this level of responsible participation from a local student. Julia Dillon, Andrew’s classmate at OHCHS, has been working as an intern with WFLT. Interested in natural resource protection, Julia has been researching and compiling data for Preserve Management Plans. 

 

The land trust welcomes students as interns, as trail building volunteers and as volunteers for specific building projects like the owl houses. In past years, seniors have built benches and bat houses for Roberts Farm Preserve and have fulfilled senior projects by assisting with after school ski programs. The bat houses installed at Roberts Farm were occupied within months of installation and hopes are equally high for the new owl houses in Oxford. 

 

 


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