The Shelby Area Chamber of Commerce has come up with an idea to enhance the Roadrunner Trail, benefiting both wildlife and those who use it, and they need your help!

“The Shelby Chamber would like to encourage the community, adults and kids alike, to build birdhouses between now and early April, to be donated to the Chamber for the purpose of putting up in the Roadrunner Trail/Lake Sheloole area,” said Chamber board member Crissy Bauman. “We would like people to be really creative with building the birdhouses and to donate them to the Chamber by entering them into our birdhouse contest. At the Chamber banquet in April we will display the birdhouses that are donated for the contest where they will be judged for first, second and third place, plus Honorable Mention.”

The birdhouses displayed at the Chamber Banquet would then be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the Chamber as part of its fundraiser. The winning bidders would have the option of keeping the birdhouse, or, as the Chamber hopes, donating it back to be put up at Lake Sheloole.

The idea came about when Bauman noticed a few birdhouses located along the trail already and the birds utilizing them. She enjoyed seeing the different birds along the trail and thought it would be nice to encourage more of them by offering additional housing. An additional thought of “this is something Shelby could be known for,” also came to mind.

“I’m hoping that some of the birdhouses that are entered into the contest are created to be representative of Shelby and some of our local businesses,” said Bauman. “Because personally, I would like for birdhouses to be Shelby’s ‘thing’ the way the barn quilt squares are White Sulfur’s ‘thing’.”

Basically two types of birdhouses are being sought, those that are sturdier and can withstand the wind and extreme temperatures out on the trail and some representing the area and different businesses here.

“These particular birdhouses wouldn’t necessarily have to be sturdy because the hope is that someone may bid on them to display in the business window or storefront,” said Bauman. “For example, maybe a birdhouse made of golf tees for the golf course, or a ceramic birdhouse painted with flowers for Shelby Floral.”

This is not a project for just local carpenters, but one that is geared towards all members of the community, including kids. It could be a community service project or serve as an opportunity to spend some quality time with kids while teaching them a life skill of woodworking or metal work. There is plenty of time to get creative, as the birdhouses won’t be going up until spring or early summer.

The type of birdhouse created is totally up to the craftsperson. Anyone with questions is encouraged to text or email Bauman at (406) 390-2126 or crissybauman@yahoo.com.

“If you have any questions, just let me know,” concluded Bauman. “It’s pretty simple, build a birdhouse and donate it. We’ll either hang it, auction it off or both!”

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