With encouragement from a local volunteer, Indian Lake High School students are using skills honed in shop class to attract specific wildlife to the area and help others enjoy Indian Lake even more.
Sophomores Rylee Halterman and Hunter Long met with Indian Lake State Park Manager George Sholtis and volunteer Dale Frymyer to check out the purple martin birdhouses that Halterman and Long built in Shop I class as freshmen. Frymyer recently erected one house near the new pool at the Indian Lake State Park Campgrounds and the other on Post Office Island, north of Orchard Island.
Sholtis said, “These are really nice for attracting purple martins. They are a pretty bird to look at and they eat a ton of mosquitoes, so they’re an advantage to have at the lake.”
Halterman and Long completed the three-story birdhouses at the end of last school year as part of a project that Frymyer pitched to the school. Frymyer is an active volunteer at the Indian Lake State Park Campgrounds and for the Indian Lake Development Corporation, among many other organizations. He was inspired to add more purple martin houses to the Indian Lake landscape after taking over the care of an established birdhouse in Lakeview Harbor recently.
“I thought, it’s a project to get the students more involved. It’s good for the state park, it’s good for the lake, good for the kids and good for the school,” Frymyer explained.
Halterman and Long used materials in the ILHS shop to get started.
“We were extra sure to check measurements,” Halterman said. “We had to be precise and closely follow the blueprints.” However, the pair researched purple martin preferences and modified the design to include half moon holes that martins like and allow for proper ventilation.
Long says he jumped in on the project with Halterman because it looked like a challenge.
“Seeing them up, I’m proud of the finished product,” Long said.
Satisfied with the outcome, Frymyer plans to involve ILHS students in other future volunteer opportunities.
Submitted by the Indian Lake school district.