CRIS volunteer Steve Burrell, right, helps Sophie Kovitz, 13, assemble a bluebird nesting box last week at the Cazenovia Joint Youth Recreation Program. Kovitz, who said the bluebird house project was a great idea, was the first person to complete her bird house.
Cazenovia Last week, local youths and seniors teamed up to build bluebird nesting boxes to be placed on the Fairchild Hill nature trail, in an attempt to bring more bluebirds to Cazenovia. The project — a coordination between Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS), the Cazenovia Joint Youth Recreation Program and the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation — will not only help attract more wildlife to Cazenovia, but the activity offered an opportunity for some inter-generational teamwork.
“We are trying to find a way to teach older children how to [put away their] electronics, use tools, be constructive instead of destructive, take pride in their work, work with their hands and improve their communication skills,” said Elizabeth Digiacomo, Joint Youth Recreation Program director.
The Cazenovia Joint Youth Recreation Program is a weekday summer program in Lakeland Park that has an enrollment of more than 190 campers, ages 5 to 15, with around 115 that attend per day. Campers not only enjoy sports, swimming and other recreational activities, but also work with local partner organizations to learn how they can give back to the community, learn basic lifetime skills and build relationships through mentoring from all ages, Digiacomo said.
For the bluebird house project, Digiacomo reached out to CRIS to find a project that would interest older campers and that would be resourceful for the community as a whole. CRIS, which helps to provide at-home services to help senior residents stay in their homes for as long as possible, was happy to be involved because it brings a better sense of community to both the seniors and the campers, said Liz Poda, CRIS executive director.
“It’s neat because this has to deal with nature and kids. [Helping with] the needs in the community to preserve the bluebird population in the state is great for the interaction between seniors and kids,” Poda said.