by Lisa Tome
While many town crewman dread the thought of snow, those who work in Cecilton's public works department enjoy it when a salt delivery comes in at the local hardware store.
Town of Cecilton maintenance supervisor Jay Paxson, and maintenance staffers, Arthur Edwards and Josh Rea, are turning the pallets into birdhouses.
They are making the birdhouses from all recycled materials. Mackie's Hardware donated the pallets and the building project was hatched. "We just got started," said Paxson. The homes are ideal for purple martins and eastern bluebird species.
Cecilton's Town Park is home to a reforestation area. Hundreds of trees have been planted in that area. The birdhouses will be placed there as a way to attract the birds.
The building has also turned into a community service project. Paxson will work with both Cecilton Elementary School and the Maryland Rural Development Corporation's Headstart programs. Children at both the school and at Headstart will have the chance to get involved in the birdhouse project.
The public works crew will allow students at both schools to get involved with painting the birdhouses they've constructed.
"Grass (mowing) has slowed down and it's not snowing yet. With all the rainy weather this gives us something to do. It's good for the environment and the community," said Paxson.
With the recycled pallets and a few scrap dowel rods, the houses can be built. The cost of each house is minimal. The investment is priceless.
Cecilton's Town Park has been vandalized several times in the past year. Paxson said that getting children involved in a park project is an investment in the community. "This will build pride in them taking care of the park. We want to put something down there to get people involved in," said Paxson. He also said the birdhouses project is a positive one and will encourage people to use the park for positive pursuits and bird-watching.
Paxson and Edwards said they are also seeking someone who might want to provide a complementary project - bird feeders and bird food. "We would welcome someone who wants to provide bird feeders and food," Paxson said. "This is building community pride and spirit and we're taking care of the environment."